Poem 1. In Water

In Water

When I was a child
I had a dream that we
were fishing off the
rocks near the Queen Mary in
Long Beach, where the colorful

starfish could be pulled
up and played with, held to the
sunlight,  shimmery.
glistening  in my little
girl hands under the hot day.

Sitting in the car
with a cheese sandwich and a
candy and a drink,
our whole station wagon rolled
quickly off the rocks, right there

sinking under the
surface  with me still inside.
I swam out the door
in the direction  of the
surface, the direction  of

the light from above.
My little legs kicked hard to
save myself, and the
half breath I grabbed just before
going under was getting

stale. Chicken fencing
covered the ocean as far
as I could see or
feel. Only my fingers broke
through the holes. Not even my nose

could make it above
the wrippling water and that
deadly, silent wire.
I watched the sun in KY last
moment, wriggling my fingers

in the air to Mom
and Dad screaming on the shore.
I let go and filled
my little lunge, crying wet
into wet, tears to ocean.

I let go of it
and in doing so, I woke
coughing and crying
and fighting for my last breath
fighting for my little life.

Even then, I knew
this was a message to take
into my life, to
remember when the time came…
Breathe everything in, and fight.

That time came yesterday.


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