10-Line Tuesday

September 1, 2015

paddling the Atlantic

The waves coming to shore are toppling the young swimmers,
only their arms visible above the froth. Beyond them, the water
smooths out, or so it appears, so she climbs on a borrowed board,
pulling an oar under until she can't hear the kids anymore. But when she finally
stands, the current underneath is a persistent, turbulent ripple. From a distance,
she looks buoyant, almost swan-like, as if it were second nature to move like this.
It's not, of course, though the chop and sway begin, by degrees, to feel strangely familiar,
and she stops looking toward the beach to steady her stance. Instead, she watches the shapes
the wind is making beside her, liquid curves lapping toward her legs, which are not buckling
as she'd thought, but rather arched, like long necks, toward the heavens.