Giant swans on the man-made pond.
Couples sandwiched in fibreglass wings.
The water, a paddling pool blue,
breaks to reveal concrete,
where paint lost its grip.
He slings coins, they bounce on the counter.
I climbed in, expect him to follow,
but he unhooks the rope,
pushes the boat with his worn boot:
Go on then, it’s just like riding a bike.
My ankles scrape cogs, my feet lose their footing
and the swan drifts. Shouts soften.
The jet fountain splatters me
with stale water.
Staining my sleeveless dress.
He is where I left him,
on the willow fringed, crazy paving.
Willing me to master the mechanics.
Another character building exercise,
like using the outside loo after dark.
I poke the swan’s unblinking eye.
Ask it to rise up
and take me to the other side.
Into a different day.
Copyright © Clare Hepworth-Wain 2014
Clare Hepworth-Wain has started to submit poems this year and has had them published on the Poetry School Website, in Nutshells and Nuggets, in the pamphlet Voices and Memory, on the Poetry 24 website and they are due to appear in forthcoming editions of The Stare’s Nest, Hinterland and The Dawn Treader.