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The Grandchild Who Cheated a Poolside Grave
I've never been a great swimmer.
In retrospect, it started with the insane fear of a sane youth
who took the abyss beneath the chlorophyll surface to be an adversary.
And even though she stood taller than the tiled height displayed on the pool walls,
she refused to even dip her toe into the artificial blue liquid.
So, you may understand how, when her sibling knocked her into the deep end, she panicked
and tried to fight this lucid horror that never fought back.
It only dodged her swing and dragged her deeper; invaded her body and deluded her mind.
And when she finally woke to reviving hands and waterlogged lungs, she realized that
She had cheated death and cheated water (which to her were one and the same.)
And, with the exception of personal hygiene, she decided never to touch it again.
Two generations later as we prepared for poolside leisure she sent us off
Not with farewells but with warnings to beware.
She warned us of the beautiful danger that kills
With the all-knowing tone of a weathered sailor warning of fatal sirens
But, like the ignorant rookies we were
We just waved and said goodbye; blew our kisses and continued with our lives
until I understood what she said. I understood all but too late because
As her warning rang in my fearful ear I was already consumed with boxing liquefied death
as she once fought watery inevitability.
I wondered if this was how the "peaceful death" was supposed to feel
But then I looked up and saw
In the place where the sun’s rays should’ve been penetrating the surface
Were beautiful faces reaching out and telling me to join them.
I reached out but they shrank back.
I grabbed for their hands but they only receded closer to the Heavens.
I made one last grasp and I latched on to something,
But instead of an angelic hand
I had grabbed hold of my grandmother’s words, which pulled me up further.
And with that, I resurfaced into the arms of my mother.
I coughed up death, I cried out life, and I inhaled a bit of wisdom.
And dare I say till this day
I still go swimming every once in a while.