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July 01st 2008 print

Kristen Roberts

Today is for Swimming

At dawn she wakes to the skip and splatter of rain;
today, she decides, is for swimming.
Passing cars slice the water on the road,
as she walks, wet, with the rhythm of the rain
to the beach, to the rockpool,
to the pale, flat rocks
which grey, in the summer, like seals.
She ballet-steps over the calves and the cows
and lunges into the tepid pool,
her towel, now sodden, in her wake.
She swims for a while
with a fervour, with the sharp, neat strokes
of a woman whose body’s still her own and then
she floats, her arms adrift
and her legs astray.
She lets the rain read her face like Braille,
like a lover, browsing,
and wonders what it will learn.
Will it see she can count her tomorrows,
or that she chooses to live her todays?