The lake waits all night for me.
Fettered boats rock and drift gently,
answering unseen currents.
Tadpoles, soft black bodies like commas,
wriggle along the honeycombed shallows,
awaiting their metamorphosis.
As morning ages
wind wrinkles the lake’s skin,
but as I slip into blue
its fingers are all satin.
You have to understand:
poetry is a lot like swimming.
Moving with grace in a liquid medium,
you become conscious of your limbs,
water against skin, resisting and caressing,
rushing to fill the space your body creates,
listening to the primeval roar of gill life.
I never feared the water,
though my mother’s voice hovered from the shore:
don’t go too far, don’t tire yourself.
I am stronger than she knows.
I strike out for the deep with my secret:
the lake is mine.
the water will hold me up.