The Severn subsides




worcester 040

Originally uploaded by seandodson

The river returned to the river this morning. For a week it has been camped out, swollen and brooding, on the riverside walk, spilling ominously over the barriers and threatening to flood the whole city. I am ashamed to admit that I was rather fascinated by the prospect a real life flood in Worcester, being recently moved to the city and the resident of a hill.

But by this morning the Severn had subsided. Fresh on the south parade, which yesterday had been under water, was a thin layer of river sand, red and muddy, like a beach after the rain. The swans were back reclaiming their rightful place on the river after a week of hiding on the higher banks or mooching around the flooded racecourse ground. But this morning they were back centre stage, so to speak, taking excitedly to the river like children skating on newly frozen ice. They stretched their wings, now flapping, now gliding, and searched hungry for food until a nice lady pulled up in her car and sprinkled a bag full of crumbs for them.

I looked back on to the foreshore. Everything was coated in dust, in the fine silt, rusty and smooth, as if autumn itself had been pummelled into powder and spread, like the breadcrumbs, right across the scene.