Swimmer

Swimmer
I had been treading water

for far too long,
when all I wanted to do
was swim
Head and shoulders
above the surface,
scanning the horizon,
 for a life beyond him
Sometimes, just floating,
motionless, on my back
Alone with my thoughts,
staring into the sky
Worrying, wondering,
can I move on? 
Still not quite sure,
but I know I must try

Standing near the edge,
I look for my place
I am in no hurry,
unsure of my needs
It’s natural to hesitate
with the unfamiliar
I search the shallows,
leery of the weeds
I want to get going
away from the past, 
somewhat certain
I am over that hump.
When the time is right
I will find the spot
I will get in for my swim,
but I will not jump

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Sticking one foot in
to test the water,
I am tempted to dive,
but mindful of my haste
Wading into the unknown,
both cautious and curious
Safer to get in slowly,
just up to my waist
The farther I venture,
the deeper I will get
The calmer the current,
the more risks I’ll take
In the waves of my worries
it seems like the ocean
When I rise above it,
I will see it’s a lake

There is so much of life
that I still want to feel
So much about living,
that I still want to know
Strong and steady,
I swim into the distance
The less I look back,
the further I’ll go
Buoyed by my family
and a lifeline of friends,
I am content where I am,
but searching for more
Rough waters behind me,
I look toward my future
If I see love on the horizon,
I will head for that shore

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Jump

                Jump

I clearly remember 
like it was yesterday.
You said “jump”
as plain as could be.
I stared down
as you looked up.
My one-plus year old
smiling at me.

With cautious hands
beneath your arms.
I lifted my little girl
from her little bed.
I laughed aloud
at my surprise.
“Of course you can”
was all I said.

Walking on air
to the end of the hall.
Down the stairs
to your favorite place.
Different this time
with that single word.
And the anxious look
on your one-plus face.

You seemed more eager
as I put you in.
The harness secure
under your tiny frame.
You immediately began
as I let you go.
I immediately knew
it would never be the same.

“Jump, jump, JUMP!”
as plain as could be.
Three more times
as you bounced and sat.
With no hesitation
and the proudest grin.
“Jump, jump, JUMP!”
just like that.

Astounded, I watched
and intently I listened.
My bouncing baby girl
and her happy word.
Up and down
and over and over.
The sweetest sound
that I had ever heard.

There may have been
a “mama” or a “dada”.
But nothing as perfect 
or with less doubt.
Other infant things
that infants say.
There must have been
but I’ve blocked them out.

I soaked it all in
and beamed with pride.
“She’s smart already
and athletic too!”
It occurred to me
on that glorious day.
And it’s the same now
when I think of you.

A vivid memory
about my first-born.
I tell it often
and I’m never bored.
This proud father,
who could show you now…
If he’d grabbed his camera
and pressed ‘record’.

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