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A poem … the learner

May 12, 2012

This is a the poem … I really would value your thoughts even on Silent Sunday

The dinghy was robust, squat and buoyant
pulled up on the slipway
undignified and vacant.
On the shingle slightly tilted to one, side -waiting
The coming tide lapped at the river’s edge.
She tiny, not so robust
had made the journey many times before.
but now alone.
The breeze still and warm
the second tide at noon was slack .
The ideal time for the learning girl.
Tentative steps in her summer pumps
on shingle, golden in the sunlight.

He walked behind rolling a cigarette
not anxious, his first born taking the oars
alone
Until now he had taken the strain
her within his arms
Her tender limbs not meatier than the the oars themselves
they too –  taller!
He, now cigarette rolled  and strategically behind his ear
Boat pulled into the water at right angles.
He remained at the edge,
she walked into the water, amidships stood
waiting for his assuring nod.
She stepped ,  mighty leap for the girl of eight.
Arranged upon the middle thwart with a gentle thud
the effort required a sucking in of her bottom lip.
placed feet on a cross timber to take her weight
and first stroke away from the edge.
Now the oars already in the rollocks
she takes first right and left.
Turned them smooth rounded in her tiny grip.
Dipped and lowered the blades into the surface of the water.
Pulling slightly back he pushed a little from astern.
Straightening his back, took the cigarette
Struck a match,  and lit it in the shelter of his hand
not taking his eyes from the little girl
As she dipped and pulled into the widening channel.

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