▲ NEWER ▲ | ▼ OLDER ▼

March 4, 2020

 

they say that to teach someone how to swim

you just throw them in

to the deep end

theyll learn

 

I tried that once

by accident

at a dead-of-the-winter outing to a local pool

I mis-read the marks

and jumped right in

to an infinity of water

(no, it wasnt infinite

but it was just infinite enough

it stood so sufficiently between

me

and

air

Death considered getting up)

even on my birthday

my hands didnt move so fast

I must have splashed

water inside itself

so hard was my dog-paddle

up toward salvation

and air

where

bug-eyed and gasping

grasping the cold ceramic wall

(still bruised)

clutching it with all I had left

I avoided the colder

more permanent wall

 

no one noticed

 

and I still hadnt learned how to swim

but I did learn how not to die

 


 

Inspired by Mary Olivers “The Swimming Lesson”

and memories of a suddenly deep swimming pool

 


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