She never thought she’d see the day,
She told me. She remembers another river –
Boiled and churned with steel, grease,
Lined with lather, lapping, sluggishly, then
Surging to gobble the Kelvin
Hungry and murky. The unwashed dish
Of Scotland’s sink, straining and
Pulling on its stained liquid lip
Swollen with its own ferrous water, broken-backed
With the weight of its jewels. Queen of industry –
Of commerce, of a city as old as America. Bruised
And split, by the ragged sleeves
Now look, she says, with still eyes.
Swans on the Clyde. Fish. Their paper lives
Held like gypsophila in the river’s blue hands.