We were a clan
about 20 siblings, cousins, cousins in law
each year there was at least one learning,
sometimes two or three.
Each year he was there
two nights a week – after work
in the summer evenings
teaching, willing, cajoling, urging kids to swim.
– The city as good citizen
the municipal pool closed to the public
available free of charge
the instructors voluntary – not even petrol money.
He was still there when we’d all learnt,
still there after we moved away.
Later I heard the story –
I was pleased I had … before the fangs of paedophilia sank
suspicion into such people.
He’d come to our town from another
to escape horror,
his young son had drowned,
he vowed to do what he could
to prevent other parents knowing that loss.