the young women stripped to their skivvies
leaping into the cold clutch of the water,
a seal rising to look.
There are no boys the right age,
only small brothers, cousins
and older men having a smoke.
We aunts and uncles long
to plunge ourselves into that fresh water,
but do not, with our return journeys beginning.
Or perhaps what keeps us from it is imagining
our middle-aged flesh in wet underwear,
nipples and hair showing through.
So we keep our clothes on and wade, and swing pebbles.
Remember being young, burning in dark water.
Aberystwyth Bay, March, 3 a.m.
I count thirty-four swans easing towards the horizon.