Wednesday, April 12, 2017

FIRST SWIM

FIRST SWIM

I rode my red mare to the back of Kent Lake
for the first swim of the season. Sweet May.
Far from civilization, I had the lake to myself.
I climbed out onto a wide stump,
a relic from the drowned ghost forest
from when the dam was made,
in order to dive into the ink-dark water.
(I was skinnydipping. Who needed a suit?)
I launched, a perfect arc, mid-way in the air, 
I realized, it was not deep water, but the sky
and scuttling clouds reflecting off a mudflat.
I had to flatten my angle to pull off
a shallow bellyflop in a foot of water
in order to save my neck, literally. 
No one but my indifferent horse witnessed 
how I hit the mud hard, while the lake 
clapped a one-handed encore
that reverberated in the deep canyons.
My belly and breasts were scraped raw,
my neck and ribs hurt, I was winded.
So I lay in that mud incanabula, taking stock
wondering if I could ever move again,
wondering who would find me weeks later
lying face down in the mud. All that exposed flesh.
Shame drove me. I crawled out of the fine silt,
a mud monster, garlaned with red ribbons,
and lucky to be alive... foolish, impetuous youth.

My horse turned a blind eye, 
tearing at the tender new grass
as if it were her last meal.

4/12/2017



I didn't write this from a poem prompt. It's from a Facebook comment.
First draft
One time I rode my horse to the back of the lake and climbed out on a stump to dive into deep water (skinnydipping, of course), and about mid-way in the air, I realized, it was the sky reflecting off a shallow mudflat, not deep water, and had to correct my angle in order to do a bellyflop in about a foot of water to save my neck, literally. I was scraped and winded, and lucky to be alive... foolish youth.

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