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Apr 2018
Me and Robin
round seaweeded,
barnacled beaches
where the river
shakes hands
with the sea

When up pops an otter.
Straight out the silver waves
it comes
and starts chattering at us
in Japanese.

I scratch my head.
Robin looks baffled.
The otter is urgently

We look around
on the offchance
that a Japanese tourist might be around
and willing to translate,
but we're the only ones there.

"I wish my dad was here,"
I say,
"Or Auntie Lynn,"
adds Robin,
but they're not
and we lack their talent
for languages.

We try our best
with shrugs and gestures
but all we have is apologies.

with a tetchy 'sayonara',
the otter slips back through the waves
leaving us
none the wiser.
Alan McClure
Written by
Alan McClure
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