The policeman had reported that we were frolicking:
it was in quotation marks: words used, he claimed, when I
was a thirteen year old state-owned girl. He didn't expect
me to come back all these years later with a news
team. It was all so much simpler then. Water flowed
under and you couldn't ever step in the same river
twice. Now we can't move without getting our feet
wet and it's the same murky cess-pool that should have
been childhood. We should have been playing pooh sticks
seeing whose twig reached the other side of the bridge
first – not which one arrived safely, not dragged under,
mauled and so broken up that it barely made it through
at all. And now, when I tell my story, the police authority
make a statement about how I have said nothing at all
as if even now, this doesn't add up to sexual abuse.
They're hoping I'll be caught in the eddies and go round
and round. They still don't believe in the power of water.
© Hannah Linden
Hannah Linden is a poet based in Devon, UK. She has work upcoming in Nutshells and Nuggets and upcoming in Domestic Cherry, The Broadsheet and Wonderzoo. She is a very active member of Jo Bell's internet poetry group, 52.