All images courtesy of Isabella Pojuner

All images courtesy of Isabella Pojuner

tale of a freshwater memory

by ashley layo masing, 2nd year sociology at LSE

I have lived through generations,

and only recently have I come to understand

the meaning of survival.

My banks have seen the footsteps of

a creature travelling through eons,

whose spirit held onto the vitality

of my springs.

I have lived through generations collecting

fresh raindrops and falling leaves,

holding maps in my streams

that have carried long journeys

and the rebirth of a new era.

And I have only come to

be acquainted with the meaning of survival

through a second-had experience —

a fish is taken out of its home

to sustain another body.

Someone’s grandmother walks on my banks;

she stares at her reflection

in the muddy-brown river water where

she starts her daily routine.

And she recognises my travel through eons,

how I have shrank and expanded,

shrivelled and flooded,

how I was clean and now am filthy.

The woman, whose bare feet just touches

the exoskeleton of my once clear body,

feels my hurt on her skin.

What was once a source of life,

I have now become a point of rescue —

survival greets me with her intimate gesture,

she embodies the precipices of my journeys.

I have lived through generations,

and the grim reaper now sits at the edge of my surface.

I have come to terms with my murder.