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The Pond

The Pond

I asked about the pond we found a little further from the house than I’d been all my life. 
   It was full (even in drought my father said) and so clear even with the glare

I could see it was deep—and I ran through the grass that came to the edge to look
   but I slipped and my foot sunk in and my elbow too.

I reached for some grass and pulled myself out,
                                    breathed deep,
                                                then sighed,
                                    then laughed at myself
   and stood up (with shirt off), and backed away to get some distance. 

I ran to the edge (full speed)—took a leap,
                                    plugged my nose,
                                          breathed deep
                                                closed my eyes.

I went back every day.


I dropped my bags: (there were two).
                                    hugged my dad.
                                          kicked my shoes.
                                    threw my shirt.

In the sun my eyes glared but I lift my hand and jogged
   through the grass and sat my feet in to cool awhile.

I paused and decided
                                    rolled backwards and stood.
                                          I backed up
and I jumped.


This time I landed: briefcase and tie,
   hugged my dad and we sat and talked for awhile.

I took off my shoes, leaned back on the couch,
   placed my hands behind my head and let my sigh out.

It was dark when I stepped into the kitchen that night,
   opened the fridge, glancing in, but nothing looked good—

So I sipped filtered water, walked back upstairs,
   and told my eyes to close as I laid there.

They shot open quick! Like white light through the window
   I yanked open the blinds and looked across the field. 

   Threw on my robe, ran out to the shed
grabbed a shovel and a pickaxe (and glad that I did). 

   I quickened myself to the edge of the water,
took my shovel and pickaxe and began to dig wider
   I tore the grass, threw the dirt in a heap,
breathing heavy with every wide sweep.
   After hours hands blistered raw
I sat on my robe in the dirt and sobbed. 
                                    I stood up   and   I   dug. 
                                          I sat   and   I   wept. 
                                    I stood   to   dig   again,

but I couldn’t stand anymore.

   So I crawled myself to the edge of the pool,
saw the dirt on my hands and my face and my hair
(even my teeth and my tongue and my smile)
   as I kneeled I closed my eyes
                                    and slipped my hands in the water,
                                          rubbed them slowly together,
                                    as the cloud appeared…
and disappeared forever.
                                    I took off my robe
                                          I washed off my toes 
                                    In measure I paused

and slipped myself deep,              

It enveloped me. 


I was older and further: heavy hearted, suspended
I wept for my father with my face in my hands
                                    and my hands in the water.
                                          It held me complete,
 —in it’s depths

I go farther. 


Now I spend my days at the home of my youth.
Most mornings I wake and walk out to our pond.

Sometimes my eyes open in the glare of the dawn
 I’m still in the water—still sinking deeper,
                                    seeing the surface,
                                          watching the lights flicker—
            they dance on the edge
like leaves in the wind
                                                 and wish to look in,
                                                      and be as deep as I.

I just smile
and sink
and smile.


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