Learning To Be Drown Proof

From Nomad’s End, published by Finishing Line Press, 2010

Learning to Be Drown Proof

Snatching a breath,
filling lungs and veins
with salt and memories,
holding it, I submerge
the whole of me under.

For hours I will do this:
hands sculling the water, legs
dancing, still attached
at the place of my hip.
The scene around me disappears and
I am in Naxos again
and it is harvest time.
Each tree selects its best and blackest olive.

I hold in the cup of my hand
the pages of my life, dog-eared,
wet from too much handling
and the long swim.

I turn to page one,
and the first phrase I learned, loving
the underdeveloped syllables, naming
the things I know: tooth, burden,
heart. I am myself, I say.

My body holds its shape
in the whirling pool of water,
now at the point of yielding,
a tree earning its rings.


Image courtesy of greeka.com

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