Distance Day

5:50 a.m.: We’re approaching the end
Of the first thousand yards of the workout a “friend”
Conjured up for a Monday. Just 45 more
Hundreds left (it’s a good thing I wasn’t warned, or
I just might have “forgotten” to set the alarm).
We swim back, forth and back like three plows on a farm
Or like shuttlecocks on a great chlorine-soaked loom
Weaving wall-to-wall patterns of pain in the room.
The pace remains fixed while the distance diminishes
Meaning less rest as each interval finishes:
The minute or so between nine- and eight-hundred
Will shrink to ten seconds between two- and one-. Dread
Sets in as fatigue turns my arms to wet pasta:
Skipped breakfast this morning, huh? That’s gonna cost ya’!
The digital clock passes one hour twenty…
We made it! A cool-down? No, thanks. I’ve done plenty.
That’s five thousand five hundred yards in one set.
Not that much for some, maybe, but it’s my best yet!
Come October ’13 a full mile offshore
Out in Kailua-Kona: That’s what it’s all for!

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