I have long admired the poem ‘Not Waving But Drowning’ by Stevie Smith. Yesterday, while washing down a narrow boat, I tripped on the roof and nearly fell in the river. When I caught my breath I laughed with the thought of my waving being misinterpreted by those on the river bank. Not wishing to draw attention to my idiocy I had to write about someone else…
I watched someone wash a narrow boat,
Sixty-five feet long and thin,
He waved to me a greeting,
Over-balanced and then fell in!
He came up for air and waving,
Shouted to me once more,
But it was no fine greeting,
Instead I think he swore!
So I wished him well with swimming,
Taken aback by his evil frowning,
Thought as I walked on the towpath,
Was he waving to me or drowning?
© Baldock Bard 2015
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