Poem — Nicholas Reid

Once to the Rocks

 

Once to the rocks,” said Bill and took a dive
as neat and arc-like as a well-cast line.
He left no ripple. I blundered behind
with belly-flop and splashes, awkwardly.
 
So in his element, smooth and alive
ahead, with berried skin and flexing spine,
amphibious kelpie-boy, he didn’t mind
headaching sunlight on a morning sea.
 
But, work-horse to his dolphin, my forced smile
said even this with effort. All I asked 
were firm land and my glasses, not a fuss
of sun and wet with jellyfish in tow.
 
I spat salt, thought we swam for half a mile,
Leander’s (or Lord Byron’s) storied task.
The rocks were Sirens’ seats, and thrones for us,
sea-conquerors who dared what swam below.
 
The polaroid is fuzzy, shows two boys,
one slightly pudgy, one not over-trim.
The gap from shore to rocks was fifty yards
at most, more than the gap from me to him.

 

Nicholas Reid

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