There were times when I walked across bridges,
paused on occasion to watch the coursing of the water;
and often, as is this blessed island’s wont, It would rain
and make me understand how rivers came to be;
then one time, and quite by accident, I bumped into a girl
and we both apologised at the same time.
Her shoe, the left one, came off
and tumbled into the raging torrent,
(actually it was no more than a gentle flow,)
and instantly transformed from trainee accountant
to Arthurian knight, I rode to the rescue.
“Thank you,” she said, a glance from beneath
lowered lashes causing the sun to break through
and the music of insects to grow loud
in the heightening of our senses;
but then hidebound by the modesty of the times
we watched a mother duck and her brood swim by.
“Seems to know her way around,” I said,
the words and their inanity imprinted forever.
She didn’t reply, just smiled,
making me understand she understood;
and after four decades plus, I can still
recall that her shoes were a sort of burnt
orange with Mary Jane straps.