2010-03-01 Thin Blue Line

The Winter Olympics closed, the torch passed.
It is March, and snow turns to slush, unlike Charlie Brown’s January snow
that Lucy declares is best.

Time now for swimming.
I dip my toe in the chilly water of the lap pool, and begin to think Summer and the athletes, winter and summer, who train long hours.

I once hoped to be an Olympic champ – super-sized hopes for a peanut-sized person.
I would jump over hurdles or glide down the slalom, and all the world would stare.

The pool is cold, steam fogs the windows. I cannot see out. No one can see in.
All three lanes are empty. The surface is still, the only noise is the buzz of the heater
and the jets of the spa nearby.

I lower my towel and slide in, wakened from my morning state.
I turn somersaults at laps’ end, and shoot through the water to begin the next leg.
The painted blue line below me remains visible so I do not go left or right of center.

My body’s shadow in the water becomes magnetized, pulled towards the line
in the moment Olympians live for – to become transparent, constant, fluid.

Many laps later, I toss my tired limbs onto the pools’ edge.
The surface ripples to the rhythm of a stroke I am no longer executing.

The body has left the pool, the spirit remains.


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