None of us could swim, from the river we were banned
Not allowed near the water without an adult holding a hand
When the adults were busy we went to play
Of course to the river our thoughts oft did stray.
A tin bath we found much to our delight
It would make a good boat so try it we might.
We were not allowed swimsuits as none of us could swim
So it was down to our birthday suits then we jumped in.
We took it in turns to sail in the bath
We didn’t think then of our parent’s fears or wrath
My brother decided a new game to play
Who could capsize the bath best - and still get away?
What fun playing in the hours of illicit gaming.
Capsizing and spitting out water with no complaining.
All went well until I tipped the bath near the drinking tree root
They sucked up and grabbed the bath for a hoot.
I turned the bath over and fell from inside
The tree roots clawed at me from the surface trying to hide
The fingers of the tree reached for me, holding and pinning me tight
The air from my lungs all gone - I never thought I would see the light.
A gasp as air rushed in, I could breath, I could see
And there were my friends and siblings all clapping at me
I had put on a good "act" of drowning they said
I had not the heart to tell them I thought I was dead.
We rubbed ourselves down with our clothes and dressed quick
All crossing our hearts, we would never tell our trick
I remember so well the dark grasping water back then
I learnt to swim quick before I went there again.