River sleepers.

I remember the slugs,
tattered clothes caked deep in mud,
stubborn, layered and dried,
by a mattress, credit cards and cans,
even a forsaken, sunken tent;
but the slugs, I remember the most.

We lifted, bagged, dragged,
hoisted, carried and toiled,
as the river trickled on below,
and the man told me all
about how hordes of giant hogweed 
reached strange victorian shores.

I wondered if I would see one;
if they’d come at me enraged,
or docile, thankful even,
as I tied another bag of trash,
these scattered lives, unseen and stashed
with sufferable, ungentle sleeps.