Down the path and into sunlight,
And suddenly you are on show
To everyone already swimming.
Down the grassy path to a bank of muddy sand,
A few people at a time
Always leave their shoes, shorts, and shirts here.
Some cross the river, passing by the rocks
Jutting from the water’s surface,
Picking their way across a sand and stony bottom,
Sometimes slipping, sometimes swimming,
Arriving on the other side,
The sand is tan and dusty and hot.
Some stack stones for occupation,
Some build lean-tos to sit under,
Or use ones left behind.
Young children run and chase on the sand,
Older children jump daringly from rocks into the water.
Both shatter the river stillness with the sounds of their play.
And now and then, the summer buzz of a horsefly or two.