They mitched from school just once, Steve and Liz,
in early October, in their ‘A’ level year,
snuck off to the bus station, twenty miles
on the bus’s genial hum, to Milford,
in the marina by ten. There were boats,
cabin cruisers, bobbing at anchor, riding the tide,
with names like Arabesque and Sylvia, Hoary Willie
and Gay Paree and Sting. Liz and Steven sensed
fathoms of joy in the sea-faring, could sense
the depth and rush of the water.
As they rounded the corner to the old dock,
they still heard the clink and ring of the masts,
still felt the soaking stench of the tide.
Right on the end of the dock wall, a sign,
No Diving or Jumping, and they looked at the drop,
thought, Hey, that’s tombstoning, but Steve’s dad,
a Milford boy, had said in his day kids would jump,
and they pictured the leaping, the power of the spring,
the drop to the black, still water.
No-one ever knew they’d been to Milford, no-one.
And the next day it was school again,
economics, sociology and maths.