04 August 2019

Swimming With a Shadow

I tried to outswim my pain today,
And by accident succeeded.
I thought that my salvation lay
In strong arms, capacious lungs,
Propelling a body hard and fast,
Cutting fiercely through
The frigid blue.

Lap followed lap as I strove,
Sweat melting unseen
Into chlorinated depths,
Glimpses of harsh noonday sun
Alternating with eyefuls
Of cool pool water.

Arms and lungs began to burn,
And still the pain remained
Inside, well beyond the barrier
Between blood and brain.

An abrupt delight:
Dark shadow imposed on the white
Of the pool floor far below,
Nearing me as I neared
The shallow end.

It glided along, muscles rippling,
Shadow-bubbles blowing,
As it swam amid pure light.
It entranced me, spurred me on
To greater effort, greater satisfaction
As I watched its effortless progress,
Took joy in the beauty
Of its silent strength.

I pulled myself out at last,
Muscling up at pool's edge,
And despite my puffing and panting,
I found the joy of the shadow-race
Had left me lighter than light itself.

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