Saturday, June 5, 2010

Swamp Water

(Pre-Script: This poem best paired with the song, "The First Cut Is The Deepest," #63 on the playlist, so go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

The alligators are not sleeping
or maybe they are now-
that's the thing, I cannot always tell
but their teeth are a little too large, too sharp
for me to willingly risk it again,
my neck, my leg a little too precious.
Trust me,
they may look sluggish, bored, and harmless as logs,
but I have been in front of the open yawning
or snapping mouth of more than one of those alligators
to know that I will not stand so close again.
Yet he keeps beckoning me to the water,
"The water is calm," he says,
but it's not the water I fear,
it's what lies beneath-
(Something like, Once bitten, twice shy-)
It is one of the first lessons I would teach a small child-
"Children, stay away from water in which there are alligators
no matter how calm the water surface,
no matter how strong you think you swim,
for they will wake up instantly when you do not know,
they smell what they want to smell, and it smells delicious to them,
deliciously like you, Child."
He says to me, "You are not trying"
But I am trying-I am trying to stay intact.
And well, you know,
now that I think about it,
wisdom says that either you do or you do not do,
that there is no "try-"
so maybe he is right to tell me that I do not try
to step into his murky pond.
Instead, I stay far away.
Instead, I stay alive.



Anonymous said...

Very nice!

liza said...

enjoyed. hey, let us know if you need anything, k? and that includes brownies.