Each time we came -
shuddering, whooshing, crying, screaming wet -
I was certain Dorset would be
swept out to sea,

that we’d be tipped into the air
by the roaring waves,
poured down the stairs
clinging bravely to the bed,

that we’d reach out for each other,
make gulping grabs for armbands
and snorkels,
grasp passing driftwood,
soggy poetry books,
the dog,

that we’d bump into dolphins mating furiously
and a little enviously
in the back garden,

that life-boats would be dispatched
from Lyme Regis
but would never arrive.

And when you spat me the first time
into cruel memory
I gasped for breath twice,
then let myself go under



(From 'Put Your Lips Together')