By the Water

I have always loved the water.
We didn’t grow up near the sea –
it was over an hour away.
But I loved it all the same.

There was a stream where we lived.
It would dry up without rain,
and flood if there was too much,
spilling into the road and fields.

We used to walk down there
(I remember thinking it was so far;
it was only five minutes’ walk)
and play pooh sticks on the bridge.

The bridge didn’t go anywhere –
only to someone’s field,
but it gave us somewhere to stand.
I hated it when I didn’t win.

When I have children
I want to take them to a river
so they can have this memory too.
I won’t mind, too much, if they win.