In Time of Flood

Open the front door into water
Brown water with no heart in it
One side of the street to the other –

Small shops drowned in it
Our car drowned in it
The sun gleamed down on it like a joke

Unseasonal, climate change thing
At an upstairs window an old woman
Staring down like a question

Water in the hall, the kitchen, floor-
Boards bending, everything melting
Or seeming to, the roof crackling –

The thin river was fat and roaring
Under the block-stone bridge and then
Over it. Reek of old mud.

By evening the surge was down
The flood was a lover reaching
For a cigarette. It got what it came for.