No one swam in the seas round Britain
when I was a child.
The water was empty beyond the edge
of the shore
even on the warmest of days.
Paddling was as adventurous as it got.
Nothing wetter was allowed,
Trousers rolled up,
skirts tucked in knickers
clothes to be protected from
the salt water waves.
Only then was paddling allowed
taking due care not to kick or jump,
taking due care not to let the wet waves
go too far.