It was the high water brought her out. Her and half the town, standing, awed by the rush and surge. Though the rain had stopped, the sky was heavy with it Grey on grey on swirling grey, but she -
Caught unawares by the moment, she had joined the crowd in a dressing gown the pink of parted lips. A slight figure, bare legs slender to the dark wet ground. She dazzled accidentally, black hair careless over slim shoulders, arms wrapped round herself against the cold
A vision of such sudden vulnerability it would lay a strong man low.
Across the street I saw an old man gazing, the flood forgotten in the glare of her. Flat cap wax jacket paused mid-step, she with her back to him, oblivious.
I averted my eyes, not wishing to know if his thoughts were fatherly or something else.
The river rose and gorged itself and there was nothing we could do.