Riverside path

The river, pushed by the tide,
smudges the edges here, 
pulls back to leave a footpath in the sand
quickly printed, away 
from the electric fence

The magic goes:
swordsmen emerge from the mist
and the church hovers in the distance
always just out of reach

On a tiny island, unmarked on any maps,
a thousand birds
try to leave their nests
but fall back, fading into silence

This is the way back:
our legs ache and
there is nowhere to rest:
no random logs, no majesty
just a shorn green empty field 

on which to collapse
beneath the skeleton trees
unable to rise again
until the third day,

which is too long:
the water is alive
and coming towards us