No Seafarer

by Jo Bell

I sing my own true story, tell my travels
small as they are, of episodes on shallow channels;
working up to Wolverhampton through the Twenty One
or drifting into Diglis, gagging for a cup of tea.

It’s all about me: my boat, my slow-mo marvels,
my lockside affairs – a spaniel saved from death,
a bon mot for the fat gongoozler. That day
on the Llangollen, storm-glazed, glad together.

The overgrowing straits that carry me
from one pub to the next, the shallow river mouths
and long-dead ferry points where knackered boats
would carry sheep across at dusk;

I sing their praises daily, bank to bank.
A narrow span, a slight adventure
of slight travels, yes. But still my own, and true
and still, for all that, sung.