River

 

riven, riving, splitting

the land

jumpable at source then

stone’s throw

soon requiring

bridge

stone arch, brick viaduct

sweeping suspension

roving, striving

until mouthing

emptying into sea

creating currents

pulling, twisting, turning

diving

rising, evaporating

into thin air

gathering

to fall again

into stream

brook, tributary,

thriving, living

river.

Bend in the river

 

more of a stream

(should that be less?)

that winds across Dartmoor

under Postbridge and Two Bridges

our parents used to take us there

with picnic and sandwiches

it was deep enough to dive or jump in

at one point if

you were careful and small

I thought it tasted brackish

until I learned later

that means salty

it was not salty but earthy

(salt of the earth?)

not exactly unpleasant

but you wouldn’t want to

drink it unless

very thirsty

it was cold

bitterly

but somehow, we acclimatised

and splashed about

and duck dived until

our fingers were white and

we had to get out and

it was difficult to

dress

and hold

our sandwiches

of spam and tomato sauce

(we didn’t call it ketchup in those days).