Swim Lessons MAG

By Kelley Frick, Gilmanton, NH

As 7 a.m. approaches
The rectangular container fills to the brim
With water and too many pairs of legs.
Stale, warm air and burning eyes dominate the scene.
Parents still half-asleep
Slap on a smile and radiate confidence
Toward their bundles of joy.

The lady in the red one-piece yells, “JUMP!”
He stands with arms wide open
Ready for the crash landing about to occur.
He said he’ll catch me, she thinks
He said he would.
With bounding strides of panic
She leaps feet first and eyes closed
Into the unknown.
Moments of confusion and abandonment
Are followed by panic and resentment.
Thrashing in the water, she climbs her way to the top.
Three quick breaths of sticky oxygen flow into her lungs
The chlorine rips at her eyes and throat
She wonders if this is the end.

Finally, he comes to her rescue.
“You did it on your own!” he exclaims
As he cradles her in his arms.
But the trust has been broken
And the fear of the unknown has seeped into her brain
And trickled into her heart.

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