My favourite country walks invariably involve water -
lingering lakes encircled by whispers,
impatient seas drumming their fingers,
loquacious streams splitting stones' attention -
and the temptation is omnipresent,
the sort only children will admit in company,
the longing to unsheathe a hand or foot
and watch the uncaged coolness roll over me.
True, we did this with many things in our youth -
gravel carpets in the drive, unclipped grass,
a patch of sand on our knee or nose would do -
in our conquest of the world as we met it
but the allure of water never fades, the way
it embraces us, tracing our silhouette,
its absence our being, its presence our pardon
from a world otherwise too fixed in its ways.