Liz Garton Scanlon (liz_scanlon) wrote,
Liz Garton Scanlon

Poetry Friday -- The Swim

This weekend, my aunt and cousins and extended family will celebrate
 the memory of my beloved Uncle Joe.
And they'll do it by swimming the length of our lake, in Wisconsin.
Because that's what he used to do, summer mornings.

He'd swim from his cottage to my grandparents', at the other end of lake.
And there he'd have breakfast with them.

The swim has become tradition these last few years since he's been gone.
I ache to be there in the water, but instead I'm hear thinking about it and thinking about him.


The Swim

     -- remembering Joe


In the early morning

a slap of fish

on the surface

of the lake

and our uncle

his clean dive

and breathy reach

less a slap than a slip

unhurried and quiet

into another day


while we sleep

most of us


and mindless

that these moments

with duck and carp

and the sun rising

like a warm nest

and the lake

waiting for first flight

that these moments

are ones that we’d long for


until we swim


the whole lake


that broad reach

of water

one morning broken

by a hundred hands

or so

each stroke

away from shore

a little easier



 E.G.S., 2007





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