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I Stood and Watched in Horror - A Poem

Updated on October 4, 2015

This is a poem about an incident that happened when we were on holiday on our boat.

Our boat was the Laurian the little four berth cruiser with the orange top that you can see in the photo.

My daughter was around ten or eleven years old when this incident happened.

She was on the lock-side holding the mooring rope when it slipped off the bollard. As the rope came off the bollard she fell back and tumbled about 12 feet into the lock that we were emptying of water.

The lock was tightly packed with boats and she slid from sight underneath the boats.

The boat that my daughter bounced off

The Lock

I stood and watched in horror

I stood and watched in horror

As she fell back into the lock

As her back hit the boat roof

She bounced then she slid off

With a splash and a scream

I think it was mine

She slid right out of sight

I stood for a moment transfixed

Not knowing what to do

I stood there doing nothing

As all hell around me broke

And pandemonium ensued

The shout went out

Drop the paddles!

As water rushed out of the lock

My shaking hands responded

The paddles were dropped

The water stood still

And as it had happened in a flash

Could this accident have been stopped?

The boats were packed in tightly

Into that old iron lock

My daughter was hidden from sight

And I just stood in shock

My husband and my hero

Swung into action right away

He is a man of action

And always ready for the fray

My daughter she had fallen

Twelve feet into the lock

Of wildly churning water

Still holding tightly to the rope

That water was now quite

But not so was my heart

It beat so wildly that I thought

It would break apart

Hand over hand he began to pull

On the rope in the water

Every eye was upon him

Waiting to see our daughter

All at once the water surface broke

Wild cheers and clapping erupted

As still clinging to the rope

Came out, our wildest hope

My daughter all intact

Although very wet

Came up yelling and berating

And very very upset

It wasn’t the fall or the dunking

That had her all upset

It was because while in there

She lost her Alice band

It was her favourite head band

That she loved to wear each day

She would not be consoled

Whatever we did say

Once we had her safe on-board

The lock was emptied quick

My daughter she was fine

But I was feeling sick

I got back on board the boat

And I couldn’t do a thing

I went and laid upon the bed

but no comfort did this bring

Shocked by what I’d seen

My mind played over and over

The the dreadful scene

And also the could have beens

My husband told me to get a grip

The holiday had just begun

The kids were ready to enjoy the trip

And I was spoiling the fun

I looked at the kids and saw that

My husband was quite right

The kids were acting like nothing had happened

I was the one that had experienced the fright

So I got up and took a grip

Like my husband suggested I should

I made the dinner and fed them

And that made me feel real good

The rest of the holiday was uneventful

We all had a really good time

And I was extremely thankful

For the rescue of that daughter of mine

© Annie Laurie 2009


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    • Astra Nomik profile image

      Cathy Nerujen 4 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

      Hi Annie, what an awesome hub. Rated and voted up and tweeted. I hope you get more reads and comments. You are awesome. Have a great day.

    • annie laurie profile image

      annie laurie 4 years ago from England

      Thank you Astra for your encouraging words, I have edited this hub along the lines you suggested in your other comment, you are so kind to help in this way.

    • Astra Nomik profile image

      Cathy Nerujen 4 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

      Your writing has promise and your storytelling is excellent. You have the natural ability to narrate a story and not let ego interfere or get in the way, or become self-conscious. Some people are just born to be writers. And so are you, Annie. Well done on another excellent hub.

      You should edit your hubs, and even the mere adding of your name as copyright owner of your hubs would add rank and relevance to them and get the featured again. Your score needs to rise here, and it is simple to achieve. Best wishes. :)

    • annie laurie profile image

      annie laurie 7 years ago from England

      We had more than our fair share of such incidents with our first cruiser sounds really sacry though. I have emailed you back.

    • you suggest one profile image

      you suggest one 7 years ago from NOTTINGHAM ENGLAND

      Boats and locks,rivers and canals,places of so much fun,when I was married to my second wife we kept a small cabin cruiser on the river trent,one Sunday we were sailing from Colwick marina to Gunthorpe,not far but some lovely scenery,as we approached the lock and weir at Stoke Bardolph which was about half way through the journey the shear pin which held the outboard motor in position snapped and the engine flipped up out of the water so we had no power and no control over the boat,the current began taking us towards the weir and if not for a man walking his dog along the towpath who ran to get the lock keeper who threw us a rope and pulled us into the river bank we would have been taken over the weir and probably drowned,the lock keeper even fixed the engine for us,a very scary time,but I still love boats,glad everything turned out well for you too.keep up the good work.Tony Martin.

    • annie laurie profile image

      annie laurie 7 years ago from England

      Hi Dustin’s Mom I am glad that you enjoyed the poem, it is a few minutes of my life that I am glad that I don’t have to relive; though my mind kept trying to do that for some time afterwards. Thanks for your kind comments.

    • annie laurie profile image

      annie laurie 7 years ago from England

      Hi Sage, Thank you so much for your kind comments I am glad that it turned out alright too. My daughter was quite black and blue for a few days but apart from that there were no long term after effects.

    • DustinsMom profile image

      DustinsMom 7 years ago from USA

      So glad for a happy ending! Very good, I could not stop reading until the end.

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 7 years ago

      Annie, I can't even imagine, what this must have been like. I am so glad that it all turned out well in the end. You captured it all so very well in your poem and had me on the edge of my seat. Very nicely done,


    • annie laurie profile image

      annie laurie 8 years ago from England

      Prasetio thank you for taking the time to read this poem and for leaving a comment

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      nice poem. thanks for share with us.

    • annie laurie profile image

      annie laurie 8 years ago from England

      Luciendasky My daughter is very ok and yes it was scary at the time thanks for your kind words

    • annie laurie profile image

      annie laurie 8 years ago from England

      rosario We went on to spend many more happy years holidaying on our various boats and praise God the trauma was dealt with long ago.

    • Luciendasky profile image

      Luciendasky 8 years ago from Florence, OR

      Whoa... This is very well written and I am glad your daughter is ok. That is really scary!

    • rosariomontenegro profile image

      rosariomontenegro 8 years ago from NEW YORK

      Girl, what a fright! But you are so brave, kudos for being so selfless. You might want to have some Rescue Remedy from your Dr.Bach flower remedies, it will erase the trauma of the accident you witnessed.

      And quite the bard too!

    • annie laurie profile image

      annie laurie 8 years ago from England

      Thankyou indanila

    • indanila profile image

      Inda Blackwell 8 years ago from Hampton Roads

      Nice hub!!!

    • annie laurie profile image

      annie laurie 8 years ago from England

      Thanks CC yes it was really scary it nearly put me right off boating, good job hubby told me to get a grip.

    • profile image

      ralwus 8 years ago

      Oh quite the story here. You're coming along nicely now. Hmmm, canals and locks are in my part of the country, NE Ohio. Could it be? nah. Anyway keep 'em coming. The more you do the better you will become. Nice way of telling a story and I bet it was scary for you. thanks for sharing. Peace, CC