Monday, December 14, 2009



You saunter over sand on seagull legs;

stand a moment in waist-high water,

and like the seagulls, appraise the seascape.

You slide your inherited strong arms

into the sea’s soft folds,

and swim easily out into the blue of Byron Bay;

you, alone out there on a Spring morning,

the wings of the sun lighting your body.

My arms remember they held you,

the chubby nine-month-old,

in the Canberra swimming pool.

You kicked and clawed

into a love for water,

the beginning of swimming competence.

Later the schoolboy race.

The family bent over the pool ledge and shouted

you on. You nearly won;

then we lost you for years to unknown waters,

in unknown places.


New from your stay at Recovery

you swim into the increasing deep,

above the marine graveyard of skulls and spines

where sharks might wish and weave.


I relax when you curve back to us,

people of the land,

where we can hold each other in body stillness,

and where you can replant,

all of you to regrow

in earth’s forgiving, resilient soil.


(prizewinner) Caroline Glen © September 09

No comments: