Sunday, September 20, 2009

Into the deep

In high school
they envied my words,
pretty little clever things
I tossed around for amusement.
But what are words worth
when you can’t swim?
I wanted in:
Into the pool, the pond,
the lake, the stream,
into someone’s dream
of belonging.

Summer bodies
tanned and toned
dive off the dock
into the deep black
how did they do that,
arched like a knife
between sky and sea.
Never me.

September freshmen
pondering life by the pond
just me and Laura,
and she says, “How about
we swim across?”
A genuine question, not a dare.
Not a trace of ridicule there.
Amazing, she didn’t know
that I was not like that.
So I tried anyway.

Got foot cramp halfway,
nearly drowned with the snapping turtles,
but she dragged me to shore
and we laughed
like Olympians.

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