How Deep is the River?

When I was small I used to walk
across the river each day with Annie
she was my companion, my life
inseperable souls, Annie and I

I would walk through woodland with her and see
well, daffodils, foxgloves or those minute flowers
which were blue or purple depending upon your outlook
and then there was the bridge across the river.

I remember one summer, when I was seven?
I began to walk that bridge, it was always uneven
but this time, two planks of wood were missing
I looked and wondered why.

All the kids just skipped across it
as if it was nothing much
but I looked down that gap in the planks
which had made part of that bridge

and I thought, what if I was to fall?
How deep is the river?
Would I hit the bottom too soon?
Would I cause myself damage?

Or is the river deep enough
to fall and swim to safety
I stood there thinking
too much, probably

Those kids just sort of fell into the water
and larked about having fun
yet there I was, standing, thinking
of many things. As flipping usual.

But then again, when I was even younger
Annie fell in further up the river
she was so silly. I screamed then.
Would those swans take her away?

There is an oak tree next to that river
I carved my name there with my brother
We used to speak to each other then
I wonder if the names are still there.



Miakoda 2006



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