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Aftermath at the lido

Reader Laura Davies’ poem beautifully captures the aftermath of a January storm at Tooting Bec Lido

Reader Laura Davies is a member of South London Swimming Club, which is based at Tooting Bec Lido. Here, she shares a poem that beautifully captures a swim at the lido in the aftermath of a January storm. We hope you love it as much as we do!

Aftermath at the Lido

The storm flung debris down. Purged boughs
float in a leafy mosaic – gold and bronze in blue.

I cast myself into morning-after water,
glide through dawn-gilded foliage,

fronds clinging to my skin. Last night 
our words were thorns. They still sting. 

Splintered branches hide amongst the flotsam,
scraping cold limbs, like scratches on sunburn.

I gather these damp arms, pile them on the lido’s edge.
The bark’s had just enough time to soften 

and it blisters, falls away from raw wood.
I turn to swim again, this time 

on my back, open to the breadth of sky.
I can’t remember why we fought.

Under trees clothed only in flimsy winter sun,
I flip and freestyle where the pool is clear.

Beneath my suit, leaves stick to belly and breast.
I’ll shower them off.

By Laura Davies

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