one day
on holiday
when we were small
we accidentally kicked our football
into the sea
and watched the waves take it out gradually

mum swam after it
and after a bit
she was so far out
we couldn’t figure out
what was the ball or what was her cap
so we hurried back
to the promenade
and tried really hard
on tippy toes
to use one of those
cast iron penny telescopes
but gradually the jokes
died away
as we watched her swim further off into the bay
and wondered if she’d ever come back
or mum was gone and that was that

fifty years later she’s really dead
and – what’s left to say?
except I remember her swimming far out
out, and out – impossibly out – far out into the bay

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