There were no ducks in Duckpond.
Only the clouds checking their hairdos
The sunrays lick my skin, skinny dipping.
One step and the water embraces my calves.
It is cold and dark and pulsating with life.
One more step, the discomfort
increases. Everyone else is in, but I am afraid of diving.
I move so fast, I am startled by
My head throbs and I feel the pressure in my ears
when water and silence try to penetrate them.
I swim almost touching the bottom
My eyes are open but I can barely see.
Stroke stroke breathe.
I look at the other side, it is calling to me.
Stroke stroke flip over.
My feet delve for the muddy soil, in vain.
On my own. Stroke stroke breathe.
You must keep going!
I reach the other side. I want to whoop and celebrate.
But I can just open my mouth, sounds fail me. So tired.
I let go of the piece of wood I had clung to.
Hugging my legs, I let myself float in this new womb.
In seconds, I stretch and move faster than thought.
I ought to go back.
Stroke stroke flip over. Look! Out of the blue, the sky is turning grey.
Thunder in the distance and I am sure
the sky is laughing at me.
Stroke stroke desperately.
I am almost back.
The sun had doubted me, so it hides behind the newly conjured
clouds. It does not see me feeling the slushy bottom, standing up
and gulping for air. I realize then I had found it!
Not on the other side
but exactly where I had started
the poem I was looking for.
(written for the workshop, Wellfleet, 2013)