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Swimming the tide


The bahía had a personality today

I swam in the humid afternoon

Alone just bobbing up and down, lazy

The sea on the other hand

Was what workshop leaders call assertive

The waves of the afternoon’s incoming tide

Laid full up against my upright body

Pushing me softly and swiftly

Along the edge of my dock


Usually I can dreamily stroke through water

And keep face to face with the ladder

But today he was in the mood to claim me

Not just to move me out of the way

Dowsing like the wakes of passing boats

But like someone bigger who

Knows his power and uses it

To take me with him or

Makes me fight to get back my berth


Not a wiggler or swimmer beneath his surface

Clear for at least twelve feet down

The bahia was alive with being

Flowing, rolling, pushing forward into nowhere

Alive with lustiness to overpower me

Like a trusted lover’s insistent seducing

I turned my face down to his wet countenance

And laughed into his potent swell

Moving me out of my safe spot



Sharon Lopez Mooney, ‘Swimming the Tide’, in Songs to the Sun, a poetry anthology, ed. Kevin Watt, 2019, San Bernardino, CA, pp. 142-43

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