Skip to content

The girl in the swimming pool

July 20, 2019
It's magical to watch a girl begin to drown,
suspended with her face towards the rain,
then lift and place her gently on the ground
and coax her lungs to believe and breathe again.
 
Your dad had raced the tide, and fought his way
through surf, on jagged granite, years before,
to reach and rescue you from panicked spray
and the pull of the sea, and swim you back to shore.
 
You fancy higher powers had bid him save
you, so you'd later rescue in her turn
this girl half-floating on her enchanting wave
who sank, and rose, and sank; a stricken bird
 
but when you lean out from the parapet
above the shadowed gorge, where far below
those blue and sightless swollen dolls forget,
forget, forget, in time with the river, you know
 
one life saved means no more nor less beside
whole families who cowered in stands of cane
and, hopeless, queued in quiet lines to die
than one life saved: unlinked in any chain. 


Published in the Kent & Sussex Folio, 2019
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Helen permalink
    July 20, 2019 9:31 pm

    Anglesey and Kigali? The 2 incidents? Whether or not, a moving poem!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: