Summer Holidays

We all holidayed  in Britain

when I was a child

and no one swam in the seas.

The water was empty beyond it’s edge

even on the warmest of days.

Parents sat in deckchairs closely packed

wearing overcoats for the wind

and a newspaper hat in case of sun.

Paddling was as adventurous as it got.

Nothing wetter was allowed,

nothing wetter was desired

in that cold, cold water.

Affluence and climate change

changed our traditions.

It was the costas for us now

in clothes purpose made 

for playing splash,

for warm water swimming

and stretching out to sun bathe

on closely packed sun loungers.

Then we’re back in Britain.

Sent home by fear

of infection and contamination

carefully keeping our distance

from each other

as we scurry to British beaches

only to be sent home again

as travelling was not allowed

nor was paddling 

even though the sea is warm,

nor was sun bathing,

or beach games

on the warm sands.

Soon we’ll really feel the heat.

We won’t go anywhere then.


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