Learning to Swim

The pool was blue tiled, 
carved from gritty streets
in the urban wilds

We didn't know
we were from the inner city
lean, wiry kids

at summer daycamp
Tuesday and Thursday
swimming class.

All summer I struggled
kicked, gasped,
flailed, and sank

until, desperate,
as autumn drew closer
I plunged, I floated,

my small weight supported
my quota of carbon
held by that compound

of hydrogen, oxygen,
my water within
reunited, rejoicing,

with the water without.
Trust: it will hold you
Trust: you are welcomed

returning to water
sunlight sparkled
on sleek blue tiles

cool and slick in city summer
one day perhaps
we'll learn to fly

 
 
Judith Barisonzi

Judith Barisonzi

Judith Barisonzi is a retired professor of English at the UW colleges. She lives in Northwest Wisconsin, and writes poetry and short stories. In my her spare time she has so far climbed the highest peak on 0 of the 7 continents.