is the number of death by water
move to Ohio and live in the sun
in the middle of middle America
the mouth of Lake Erie, the hungry one.
your life you were moving toward this place, from the first,
your mother stood at the window watching flood-water swirl around the corner in
meeting place of the Maumee. the
Miami and Mad....
were coming here.
you were born,
were coming here.
joy each sorrow, leaping fish, frog in the pond, skating on the river. Camping
in lake Superior.
"The coldest water I ever swam
in. We jumped in and the shock
was - we couldn't feel anything,
anything at all, and then when we jumped
out we were blue, blue with the cold."
and marooned by the lifeless lake,
alone to raise children, bear winter, decide, decide,
thought you were treading water.
on the sea, swimming again, far out to the horizon,
back come back.
should have let you go.
and closer it comes nearer the hungry mouth.
walk to the salt-water pond each afternoon.
hurts to walk; it's easy to fall.
enter the water and you are free.
hurts, you say, it's wonderful.
so lucky you say.
tears are running down my cheeks now.
were coming closer all the time.
did we come out of the water?
limping leaning struggling
the first summer you were cold all the time.
one night I put your blanket in the dryer.
put it over you in bed.
so lucky you said.
dream some warm day I'll come and take you out of that place we put you in.
put you in the car, drive fast fast
to the edge of the warm ocean.
push your chair into the water until
can tip you out.
hurts you'll say, it's wonderful.
look at me and see me.
swim out to sea and never come back.
the seal people will take us.
else will die and go to Heaven.
sit at the right hand of God looking down at us over the edges of the clouds
with sorrowful faces.
don't you come be with us?
we will flip our tails at them and dive underwater.