Today I got to play again,
Just as I had with my father
At Eight. "Un Dabber Dinghy Sertoli!"
He called it, never hiding that he
Enjoyed the river's freedom as much
As we three did. And how much fun
To be had with reinforced plastic,
A pump and two oars!
Memories of picnics on the Monnow,
The water fast-paced and the sound in stereo
As we "Shot the Rapids"
With his strong hands on the oars,
Asking me to lean over the front
To call out the big, greened rocks ahead.
Hie, that belly laugh child chuckle peal
At his face, when the stones scraped
The bottoms of both boat and man.
To show her, to take my girl in our own "Dabber Dinghy"
Made pealing sing all the parts of myself:
My Child danced flip-stomach excitement,
That echoed her wild "Am I dreaming this Mummy?!"
My Parent warned her not to lean over too far, not to
Rock the boat. My Grown Up self sensibly decided She
Would wait on the bank with the pump and dry clothing,
Until we tired of river play.
How the world looks different from river level!
Pond skating the water, watching the damselflies
Twirl like little girls in their princess dresses,
Waiting for the "pip! pip" call of that king of fishers,
The banks high and gently enclosing.
Sedge Warblers were building their nests,
And that sensational chirp bark rasp of their
Reeding called for a down paddle silence.
She saw all. And lay back in the boat,
After naming it "Nettle", little sunshine face
Elfin and stunning. As it is to suddenly realise
I have grown up, and have control of the oars,
And I have never had such fun.