I remember, whipping off,
our sweaty clothes so fast,
wriggling into taut swimsuits,
salt-faded from the past.
Down, down to the ocean, went we,
childish laughter floating out to sea…
Summers that we dove and dove,
through rushing wake and wave,
plunging from the wharf of stone,
we fancied ourselves brave.
Flying out the old screen-door,
bang!, it slammed behind,
feet met fire on wooden steps,
so swift, we paid no mind.
Tripping, tumbling down the bank,
just one goal to reach,
limbs bruised up with stains of grass,
couldn’t keep us from that beach.
Rolling tides on sun-baked shore,
we dipped our toes and screeched,
ankles, calves, then knobby knees–
Atlantic depths were breached.
“You go first!”, “ No, you!” we’d yell.
“It’s too cold!!!!” (Our fears we’d have to quell),
“Hen, rooster, chicken…duck!” above the din,
of warming winds-—then we were in.
Down, down, to the ocean went we…
Kathleen Mortensen © 2008