Swimming’s something fun to do
I’m happy when I’m running, too
It’s fun to do the things you like
I’m hoping soon to love the bike
Swimming to the moon?
Due west from the beach at dawn
Let it come to you
I dreamed that I was standing in the pool
(The shallow end, of course; I’m not that tall)
And someone’s baby, there despite the rule
Against non-swimmers swimming laps and all,
Was hanging on the lane line. He let go
To paddle toward his mother, who was in
The next lane, right behind me. (I don’t know
Why none of this was odd.) What happened then
Was that the toddler sank, his arm stretched out
To both of us adults. I knew that I
Just had to duck to reach him, had no doubt
That I could do so, but I couldn’t. Why?
I woke up, not yet panicked, with a start.
My book slammed to the floor. Be still, my heart.
I’m just a little bit behind
On Rio’s games, but I don’t mind.
They’re worse at work: One guy–I’m shocked–he’s
Still discussing Ryan Lochte!
He swam, like, a week ago!
I’m poky, but I’m not that slow!
I learned to read and write at three
Because my sister tutored me
She learned to ride a bike and swim
And asked the world, How ’bout him?
She blazed the trail we both would tread
Taught vectors from her top-bunk bed
And showed me how adulthood works
I’m pleased in me my sister lurks
When I was young I thought a run
Of any distance more than none
Was quite the opposite of fun,
An exercise to be ignored
If possible. It left me bored.
What was I running from? Or toward?
I recognize the irony:
You rarely see a dog or tree
While swimming. That’s the sport for me?
Like, age-group swimming, in a pool,
Where back and forth (and back’s) the rule
For hours? What am I, a fool?
Well, possibly. It turns out, though,
That swimming up and down a row
Of chlorinated H2O
Cinco días por semana
Slathers running mojo on a
Kid who really doesn’t wanna.
I loathed seventh grade P.E.,
But that was where it came to me:
I learned what fun a run could be.
A fortnight spent on Field and Track
Exposed my fast-twitch muscle lack
In sprints: I finished way, way back.
My classmates jeered, as ‘tweeners will,
About my total lack of skill–
“It’s like you’re falling up a hill!”–
Until the distances increased.
By 800, the teasing ceased,
Then, Mile Day: My turn to feast.
Though far from Ryun-esque, I ran
A full half-minute faster than
The runner-up. I was The Man!
It didn’t last for long: Such cool
Wanes rapidly in middle school
And I was better in the pool,
But thanks to that epiphany
In mean Coach Durland’s period three
P.E. class, who’s a runner? Me.
I know how to swim and I look
Fancy in my trunks. However,
I regret the chance I took
In wearing them to work. Not clever.