My Love’s Love

My love loves the River Lea
Discovered in recovery
Visits uncover mystery
On trips with children one, two, three
Took looks and books and maps and found
His sanctuary, his way around
Walking Summer at Rammey Marsh
Fetch the ball tossed in the grass
A cup of tea and a water tub
At the café by the rowing club

My love loves the River Lea
He walks east London’s artery
From Ware it rises to the Thames
Its gems, its secrets, branches, stems
Milestones mark along Lea Valley
From Enfield Lock to Waltham Abbey
From Luton Hoo to Wheathampstead
His first fine find, the Filter Beds
From Fishers Green to Stonebridge Lock
Leave behind the office block

My love loves the River Lea
Workers’ houses, factories
Wooden wheels drew water power
At Ponders End the mill ground flour
The Lea took produce into town
Seeded, sown and glasshouse-grown
Salad sheds, tomato beds
Experiments and talking heads
Scientists in gloves and masks
Light bulbs, TVs, Thermos flasks

My love loves the River Lea
Its relics of old industry
Banked and flushed by history
Last letter changed from A to E
As River turns to Navigation
Shortcut to its destination
Needed decontamination
From gunpowder intoxication
It’s busy still, but rather cleaner
Housekeeping, houseboats, Springfield Marina

My love loves the River Lea
Sitting with a flask of tea
Hoping for at least a bite
Hoping for a line that’s tight
Locks and clocks, a box of bait
Hook and cast and watch and wait
A thrush, a butterfly, a bee
A cormorant flown in from the sea
A rushing weir, a disused pump
A fishing friend called Grumpalump

My love lves the River Lea
Picking, eating blackberries
Kids with hands all purple, pricked
Stewed and crumbled, fingers licked
Insect bites and nettle rashes
The place we scattered Obi’s ashes
Listen hard, you’ll hear him bark
By the bridge across to Millfields Park
Marshes blow at Walthamstow
Backwaters water back at Bow

My love loves the River Lea
And I love him and he loves me

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