Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My mother's rosary

elderly slow-lane ladies smile at her
in their usual saggy suits.
she savors it again-
eau de chlorine
with a quick wave to the lifeguard,
not even flinching,
she breaches the pool’s chilly skin

her toes taste the tile and grout
as she dons cap and goggles,
rinsing first to create a seal
pausing to gather resolve
maybe just 30 laps today
(it is, after all, early
and she didn’t sleep well)

much less ceremoniously
than Moses,
she parts the waters

hands carve liquid
sinuous curves learned ages ago
feet pound an amphibious pulse
elbow up head to the side inhale
awash in repetition

water spills and sprays, displaced,
twisting in smooth torpedoes
dashing over her every freckled facet
except her masked eyes
(wells of wisdom, brim-full)
though it tries
to cruise their creased corners,
etched by years of laughter

head down three strokes kick exhale
that is not what she is doing.
look again-
she is listening.

lap after lap
mile after mile
bead after bead

and even now,
her underwater prayers
are keeping me afloat

happy belated birthday, mom
special thanks to Rachel for the photo (wish I had a swimming one)

I'd appreciate any feedback on this, any words you think I should change or things I should add/remove - I'm thinking of submitting it this week to a poetry collection at school.


ajt said...

favourite line: awash in repetition

I LOVE the poem. Others who are more word-y will have to give criticism...I just like it in that "this is so cool" and "how do people do that?" kind of way...

katevp-a said...

You've been tagged, Beth.
See my blog for details.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

mom is so photogenic. awesome prose betho.

Myriam said...

Beth - I had a dream about you the other day! Crazy - i know. You were doing really well in my dream, very happy, and planning to take over the world (long term plan of course). Hope all is just as well in real life!?

rochelle laura knox said...

submit it. seriously.

p.s. i could look at it a bit closer if you are going to send it on somewhere.

Anonymous said...

I'm not much of a poetry critic, but I thought it was beautiful.