‘In the mangroves’

In that forest there were rivers, my child, wild storming rivers that stretched wider than motorways, wider than meadows, where you couldn’t swim from one bank to the other without being swept downstream, to who knows where.

But in the swamps you could wade safely, reaching out for their gnarled arms for support whenever the cold current began to catch you. And it wasn’t really an adventure unless it did.

It didn’t matter if they were roots or branches, dead or alive, thick or thin. They became our friends. We trusted them to guide us. That is, until the day we lost Pieter. After that, not one of us played in the mangroves again.