We relax in the evening light
on his fluid banks
The William Hovell dam
tames him until
like the young girl in the park
he defiantly tumbles over the spillway
where he reaches his valley
too weak to fight rocks he once tore from the hills.
Today he playfully polishes
marble-round those too heavy to move
into mobile hides
for trout to mock the stealthy angler.
He tugs at the reeds
and questions why Hovell
disliked the name the Pangerang people used,
Poodumbia, or that of her twin sister -Torryong.
The King and the Ovens rivers coldly
steal the story -and gender – other voices should tell.
Once the home of the bandicoot, koala, and platypus
Sangiovese grows on old tobacco fields.
Marsh grasses sway on a zephyr
beside her freely flowing stream.
Our water mirrors smoky coloured clouds overhead
for fish to hide in dark spiralling eddies.
Slow birds circle tall tree tops,
scan nighttime roosts,
and puzzle aloud the same query.
Why the name changes buddy?
This poem was selected for publication by Red Room Poetry to appear in The Disappearing. https://redroomcompany.org/poems/?project=disappearing