His cup of tea on the window ledge
he watches through the glass
a narrowboat goes through the lock
a gleam of polished brass
Jack kept the lock when working boats
hauled goods along the water
Couples toiled and lived on board
along with sons and daughters.
The hour or so it took to rise
the seventy feet or more
was put to use in passing news
and building living lore.
Now Jack stands there, cast in bronze
beside the window still
to watch another motley crew
rise and descend this hill.
We walk the tow path one fine morn
and pause for tea and cake.
You stand near Jack in mirror pose
and bring the past awake.