What Do I Know

about water? I didn’t learn
to float until I was fifty,
in a water aerobics class,
mostly older women. The young instructor
called us his water buffalo
and it got back to us.
We adopted the name.

Couldn’t swim, but that didn’t stop me
from going over the side of a boat
off Buck Island, snorkeling
along the reef. Still amazed
at the school of bright blue fish
who swam as one sinuous body.

Couldn’t swim, but that didn’t stop me
reveling in hot water,
my morning shower, the space
where a woman can think,
sculpt lines of poetry,
play out scenes in a novel,
solve the world’s problems.

What do I know about water?
We can’t live without it.
We don’t eat without it.
Forests and prairies burn
when there is too little rain.
Children and old folks starve
along with the livestock
during a drought.

Water creates canyons
over eons as it wears away stone,
and makes my morning coffee,
water and bitter beans,
happen.

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