For Caroline Reeves
We pulled into the lay-by above the straits
so that our friend could see the view: Telford’s
iconic suspension bridge, beyond
the Carnedd Range and, below us, Ynys
Goredd Goch, Red Weir Island – a house,
out-buildings, disused fish trap, slipway –
surrounded by The Swellies, tidal whirlpools
and surges driven by the rocks and shoals.
A small crowd had gathered in the lay-by.
On the island, there was a smaller group.
Suddenly, there was the dull pulsing
of rotors. A Sea King arrived. Someone
in the crowd said someone in the crowd said
a drowning swimmer had been rescued
by someone on the island – and someone else
said the Sea King’s pilot was the heir to the
heir to the throne. How we do love the stuff
of legend! The swimmer, whoever he was,
was an ignorant fool. The pilot and crew,
whoever they were, were skilled, brave and selfless.