The river where his lover lies
is not too wide from bank to bank.
The water eddies here and there
as it flows down into the sea.
The ferry carries cars across
from Chester on one shore to Lyme.
The surface of the water’s calm,
there’s not a lot they have to say.
He took the boat so they could see
the swans that swim along in pairs.
They mate for life, he’d said; the plank
was lowered, so were her eyes.
Something was amiss that day,
some inner peace, some needed balm.
He calculated there was time
to stem the tide, avert the loss.
The water made her paleness stark
against her hair, as she sank down;
and now he has to damn or thank
the river where his lover lies.