Early bus, top deck,
with the boys in parkas and trainers,
trunks wrapped in towel tubes, like torpedoes,
to the Baths.
In the showers,
echo round the lockers -
he still hears,
as he drives to an evening swim,
and lays down lengths
in a lazy rhythm of to and fro,
a hypnotist's slow-motion watch and chain.
Alone in the changing rooms,
soap and shampoo,
grown-up clothes, leather shoes,
If you've any comments on
this poem, Stephen
Payne would be pleased to hear from you.