Skipping Stones

Does this childhood memory of skimming stones ring any bells with you? Growing up near the North Sea, I often watched as my father skimmed stones over water. A marine engineer by trade, he taught me about Barnes Wallis, the much more famous marine engineer whose invention of the  bouncing bomb made such a contribution to Allied efforts in World War II.

 

With a flick of wrist & finger, my father—

Ankle deep in shallows or in shingle—

Sent those round, flat pebbles

 

Bouncing, scudding, skimming, skipping

Over the waves’ grey curls and ribbons,

Over their fleece-washed foam and crashing combs

 

While I—well, all I could do was stand

Marooned on sand, marvelling at his skill;

Or play at hopscotch on the sea-wall.

 

© Lizzie Ballagher

2015-03-01 11.39.29

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