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Posts Tagged ‘baptism’

Swimming to the Island

 

 

 

I didn’t intend to swim to the island.

Told myself it was just a quick slip

into the water. Told myself I would

rejoin the others soon. But the water

said yes to me. And my arms and legs

seemed to remember then

exactly what they were made for.

Sometimes we’re in service to something

more primal, a voice that says go, go,

keep going, though there’s no race,

no finish line, no prize, no spectators,

nothing but the thrill of becoming

the body’s bright verb. Feel how

the water buoys you, even as your weight

pulls you down, how it shimmers as far as

a woman can swim, how with each

stroke of your dripping arms,

the lake christens you again and again

a child of this very here.

 

 

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At the Pond

 

 

 

It’s no Walden, but it’s cool

and the day is dust hot,

and so I ask my younger self

if she wants to go swimming,

and she grabs the hand of my older self,

and drags her to the pond.

My older self was, perhaps,

more rhetorical than sincere

when she suggested the swim,

but the younger self has already

kicked off her shoes and shrugged

out of her dress. The swallows

wheel and sweep overhead

and all along the pond’s edge

the dragonflies darn through the reeds.

What is it in us that never forgets

how to jump in, no matter

how cold, no matter who’s watching,

no matter what else

we’re supposed to do?

That is the part that is already wet

and otter slick as the older part of me

stands at the edge, still dressed,

in awe of that girl, how she

glitters in the sun, how

through chattering teeth,

she laughs, how she looks

so almost familiar.

 

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