Saturday, 15 October 2011

Italian poem No 10.

The Millstream

I am fishing in the millstream
in the brown and frothing current;
foam a-swirling, leaves a-twirling
on the mountain's rushing torrent.
Our poor Gwen fell off the culvert
in the dark and stormy night,
soaked her clothes
bruised her knees,
spilt her handbag,
grazed her elbows,
gave us all a nasty fright!
Now I'm fishing in the millstream
for her wallet, purse and keys,
the gold compact that her husband
bought her once from overseas.
Let me see where they have fallen,
whereabouts the wallet's gone…
Has it drifted in the current
somewhere underneath a stone?
Yes! It's here!
Her cheques and passport
and her photo, quite forlorn!
Lay them in the sun and dry them!
Luckily there's nothing torn.

Now I'm wading in the millstream
on this grey and stormy day
while the sullen water eddies
round the branches in its way.
I am searching for Gwen's purse
which holds, along with all her money,
driver's license,
ring of keys,
book of stamps,
and credit cards
the loss of which is not so funny.
So I'm in the stream once more,
wallowing in drizzling rain,
trying to find her things before
the river rises once again.
A neighbour comes in waders
with a fishnet on a pole.
"I think the purse might float a bit,
then sink into that hole."
And here it is!
The missing purse,
A lump of sodden leather!
Put it by the fire to dry.
Luckily it held together! 

Here I'm paddling in the millstream 
on this bright and blowy morning. 
How the water winks and sparkles! 
Over pebbles it goes gurgling. 
I am looking for Gwen's compact, 
with the powder for her face. 
It's round 
and gold, 
and loved, 
and not so easy to replace. 
The sun shines down. A thing like that 
should gleam and glow and shimmer. 
But what Gwen didn't tell me was - 
it's in a black felt cover. 
My foot is resting on a stone 
that’s flat and square and slimy. 
"I saw a compact once before  
that's just like Gwen's. Oh, Blimey! 
Here it is,  
her precious gift - 
I've stood upon it all the while! 
Eureka! I have found Gwen's gold!" 
How glad I am to see her smile! 

© Tamsyn Taylor 

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