On the trailing edge of winter, pale light led me
To the cut, where alder and bowed willow stand
Reflected in the greys and browns of long waiting,
While winter burdened boats slack at their ropes.
In childhood days my father’s boat was tethered here,
Firm to the rusty ring upon the quay
And I still see her fine hull cut the water,
As she bestowed the grace of sail upon our lives.
The calms and storms, the fair and foul winds weathered her,
Tugged at the sheets and planks of our togetherness,
But now the ring is empty and as cold as winter,
Devoid of lives that once were firmly tethered.
Let it rest, to hold those years, for here and now
The grandchild in my arms is smiling.
Caught within her smile I glimpse my parents,
And once again those white sails fill with joy.
Langley dike, Norfolk – a quiet place, steeped in memories for me. Once there was even a nice pub, a real country pub, at the head of the dike. Today it is a private dwelling. Places change, memories do not.