Swimming to My Father

December 26, 2016

I was seven years old and couldn’t swim,
but my father made me swim to him.
I was over my head in Peconic Bay
and while I swam he backed away.
To me it seemed a nasty trick.
“Keep your fingers closed and kick!”
he said and didn’t seem to see my fear,
but praised me slowly drawing near.

I still can see his giddy face
and feel his wet and warm embrace.
Right now I see him standing there:
He’s young and strong with dark brown hair.
Where could that strength and youth now be?
I think he lent them both to me.
He lent a bit of each that day.
What’s good is good to give away.
I also have his giddy glee
when now my daughter swims to me.