#100peoplepoems part 57: Peg

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May 9, 2016 by Sez

I feel a bit bad about this. I don’t know what this woman’s name was really, but she honestly looked like what I imagine the mythical water witch Peg Powler to look like, if she were doing lengths at Hathersage Outdoor Swimming Pool.
Night is falling by the water;

Air grows cold, the sun is setting,

Midges hover near the surface 

It’s no place for little children.

Peg Powler’s greenish head emerges

– Then submerges, re-emerges –

Up and down Peg Powler’s plowing 

Scowls around at other swimmers.

But she’ll do no harm, Peg Powler’s

Only here to swim this evening.

Up and down, her long hair trailing

Out behind her. She’s not hunting.

But some teenagers are splashing

Thrashing in the cooling water

Shrieking, chasing one another

Chasing, catching, maybe flirting

Peg keeps swimming, mouth set grimly:

Keeps her hands away from ankles

She’s not here to hunt for children

Even ones who should know better.

Not tonight, but maybe later.


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