The white churn roared
fighting against stones,
snarling at eddies and pull.
A vicious tyrant on a too-hot day.
Growling at picknickers.
Gnawing at poohsticks.
Gnashing at its own green banks.

It was a dare.
A double dare.
A dare from all the boys who shouted
Scaredeycat, Scaredeycat,
You couldn’t you wouldn’t you won’t.

A dare for the girl in the short summer dress.

The bridge was high
but you soared below,
swift and swallow,
a shadow in the stark blue sky.

Then you were gone.
The summer rolled on.


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