The Cresswell Arms reach further than the bar
where local ale slips down the gullet easily,
where rejuvenation lingers in the landlord`s eyes.
On the old quayside the pub benches host families
and teenagers, buckets of water and captured crabs.
The kids dangle long lines of wriggling bait over
the sharp drop, their faces full of the hunt.
The tide is out and the reed beds sing an aria
in the jet stream. Old oaks rustle in the ruins
of the ancient manor`s mortar, and the forested
hillside plays a drum beat, echoes from a tribal camp
of young things finding their feet.
Down in the mud flats the Cresswell moves in its little swell,
and waits for another flood. The stepping stones are baked dry
in today`s hot sun as many shoed and naked feet walk and run
to its other marshy shore.