Ten, she is, lowering herself gingerly onto the riverbank grass,
amidst goose shit and the patter of punters on the Cam.
“Milton, Newton and Winnie-the-Pooh”,
their names jangle over the water, agitated by the boatmen;
loose change for the fountain, keys over a drain,
they drop. “Shakespeare, too.”
A bend in the river, what does she think?
“I like it here,” she says. “It's peaceful.”
Ah, a romantic! As ferry punts and self-hires collide
unsilently before us she sees only the green rhythm flowing,
the wind-combed grass, the cool colonnades of the library.
My daughter imagines her own Cambridge.
“Robert Oppenheimer”, a boatload of Japanese tourists
try to place the name. No, they shrug. It's gone.
Back over the bridge, dodging cyclists and proctors, we go.
I take a picture: her back and the Great Court beyond
spread out like someone's future. “Milton, Byron, A.A. Milne...”
She abandons the future, distracted by a college cat.