As we walk on the path by the Dee, glad
a low wall keeps us from the river in spate,
its white waters covering the flat rocks
that stretch half across the river’s breadth,
waters whose unvarying roar fills the town,
we see, coming downstream from Chain Bridge,
bounced erratically by the relentless
torrent, a child’s ball, plastic, red, bright as new.
Later, as we cross the bridge to climb the hill
to the Llangollen Wharf Tea Room for
a welsh rarebit with smoky bacon,
having assumed the ball would already
have left Wales, we see it, once more, caught
in eddies made by one of the buttresses
of an arch and the smooth rock it is built on.
As we re-cross the bridge, after we have
walked off the rarebit along the canal,
we see the ball again, stranded on the rock,
and hope a child in Bala or Corwen
has another now – plenty of time
to learn about physics.