Swimming

 SWIMMING     Lately, I’m thinking of poems as places to put things, moments that haven’t dissolved, yet aren’t big enough for their own poem but still deserve—or maybe ask—to stop floating around like dust in the air or debris on the water, for example the time I swam and swam and swam in Lake Michigan, just kept going because every other lake I’d been in I could swim to the other side, not that I was intending to get all the way across, and after a while I got tired, so tired, and didn’t know if I could swim back to shore but I did and I’m thinking how wrong it would be to reduce the experience to one lesson learned, a one sentence main idea, and I’m remembering a game my sixth-grade-Friday-afternoon club played with five small objects which one of us hid in plain sight so a penny disappeared into the design of a plate and I liked it best when I couldn’t separate the object from its new home.

Ellen Goldsmith of Cushing, Maine, writes and teaches poetry. Her first chapbook, No Pine Tree In This Forest Is Perfect (1997) won the Slapering Hol Press chapbook prize. Her poems have been published in a number of magazines, including Connecticut River Review, Dash, Earth's Daughters, Mount Hope, and Third Wednesday.