The taste of river air that I took home
exotic as it lingered in my mind
it gives me back the sense of traveling wild
and images, restored the way they’d been
of Summer back when I was seventeen.
I see the weeds on the old river bank,
their colours purple, yellow, white and blue
and always there the river’s silent flow.
While other ships moved faster than we went
I loved the moments on the river spent.
The freedom of the water that I felt
was never greater than when all alone
I hung the laundry out on the rear deck
and waved to other shipmates that we passed
as we approached the German border fast.
The custom officers would enter ship
by stepping in our galley from their boat.
The water of the Rhine could splash on board
and always was the fear of those without
required papers that they’d be found out.
Sweet river air, so heavy warm at night
when on the banks the children that we were
became all grownups during Summer nights
and never would a river tell us more
about the loves that there had been before.