Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Flood

THE FLOOD (Hunstanton) Wendy Webb

Snug as a bug in a sleeping bag
I drifted to the Land of Nod and back,
my perfect room in miniature,
and drifting in and out of sleep
the seeping, rising tide of voices raised.

It was dark outside.
Clattering of canvas frames
and mud and flood and panicked dreams.
I woke to the world, a lake.

My snug bug sleeping bag was packed away.
Dad and brother flapped with cold
around my sleeping room, a sidecar seat.

Rumbling into sudden life – away.
Camping gear packed damp above the flood,
flowing across our groundsheet camping site.
No-one else was dry; paddling in the night
beside a sea, a chilly East Coast sea.

Our bones shaken minimally warm,
brother riding pillion,
we scoured the promenade for mugs of tea.
A seafront café welcomed travellers, slightly damp,
skipping to the flash of fate in flood.
Dad saw her first, playing with the flowing tide:
a solitary female form, strangely shadowing a causeway wall.
We paused and paused
- wondered who would paddle into dawn?
There she was again,
same shape too deep for youthful seaside eyes to understand.
I wonder still about her tide,
our flood:
whether life was ebbing out to sea for one last time.