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A childhood memory

Lazy, Hazy Days.

Water_witch-2by Abigael11 Jul 2014

Greve de Lecque Beach. Jersey C.I. 1947

The slipway cafe -
which scoop of ice cream
will fill each cone ?

We hitched up knitted swim suits which stretched
and sagged when wet, used bamboo scoop-nets to fish
for tidlers shrimps and small crabs in warm pools
between boulders, refreshed by each incoming tide.
At low tide we searched for delicate pearl and chalk
coloured shells in shades of ivory, yellow and pink.

A tray of tea -
mother watchful, knits
a winter jumper.

When the sun beat down we clambered over rocks
to find the deep pool .Here we learned to swim a few
strokes and curious, poked at jelly-like sea anemones.
Bronzed youths scaled the cliffs to dive into a rocky gulley where the tide whooshed in and out, to impress local girls. The young man who impressed me most came alone, he walked stiffly on artificial limbs, left his legs on the sand
and walked on his hands to the sea, a competent swimmer even in rough weather.

The sea sparkles -
a strong undertow takes sand
from beneath my feet.

A sudden shower would find us shivering in the cave,
while the tourists fled the beach - minutes later bright sunshine! We carved channels in the damp sand to divert the
stream that tumbled through the valley and out to sea
We filled moats around grand castles that we decked with shells, seaweed flags and driftwood, they fell to the next tide.

Tarmac bubbles pop -
halfway up the hill we stop
for cold spring water