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Swim Lessons

The pretty lifeguard holds our son to her breast, 
counts to three, then plunges him under water
for a full, astonishing second before
lifting him, shocked and sputtering, back
to the sunny morning at the public pool,
and the laughter of his mother and father,
who have betrayed him, who have handed the center
of the universe to a sunburned teenager.

Once again she pulls him to her bosom
and once again the bright young summer,
with its snow cones and beach towels and Coppertone,
closes over his head with a rush, once more
he’s far from us, in the drowning element,
until once more a woman brings him gasping
and amazed to the dazzling world,
our little boy, laughing in her arms, beautiful
strangers already laying claim to him.

—from Blood Pages, available on Amazon

Screenshot 2024-04-25 1_edited_edited_ed

“Funny how the poor lifeguard gets stuck with the job the parents are too chicken to do. Kind of like being an executioner.”

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