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Jan 2016
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,

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.
Alan McClure
Written by
Alan McClure
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