Stuart McPherson challenged us at dVerse to write on our fears. I chose one that held me in its clutches most of my life...swimming. I remember vividly the day I was pulled from the bottom of the pool when I was a child. It so terrified me I could barely get near the water. Several years ago we were planning our first cruise to Mexico. (Yes, I was going to be in the middle of the sea on a ship.) I so didn't want to be the one who couldn't get in the water. I decided I had to learn to swim. Not only did I learn to swim, but I learned to snorkel at the same time. Quite a feat!
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Taken under, lungs burning,
I didn’t know death came
in chlorinated droplets.
A foot rests upon my back,
arms pulling me to the surface,
so much water mixed with tears.
My father shouts at me.
Fault dries on my skin.
He knew I couldn’t swim.
You can’t swim and you live an hour’s drive from the Gulf of Mexico?
Overcoming fear isn’t easy.
The water burns my eyes and nose.
Don’t be silly, he won’t let go of you.
Letting go, concrete scrapes my palms,
it is only five feet deep.
You can’t swim on your toes.
Fifty years old and merely a tadpole,
watching children float around me,
but I am in the middle of the pool!
I faced my water demons and found success.
It’s February and the sun feels
like a warm blanket on my skin.
I am surrounded by blue.
Fish swim across my camera lens,
their colors the confetti of a dream.
Yet dreams don’t brush across your skin.
Cozumel, I made it.
Toddling strokes in a concrete pool
freed me to swim in a Caribbean sea.
©Susie Clevenger 2012