Treading Water

We were always threatened by geese when we went to the farm.

“Don’t go over there,” they’d say, “the geese will get you.”

Unlike other threats, this one was true.

If you went over there, the geese would get you.

I’ve always wondered why geese have some of the worst attitudes in the bird world.

Then, I think about swimming.

More specifically, I think about what we see when we look at geese swimming.

And what is happening that we don’t see.

So often, when I read the fantastical, the incredible actions start to blur together in my head.

As the great feats are coolly and competently performed, I can’t help wondering-

How hard are your feet kicking under the water?

There are few things that come without effort, but often that work is hidden, moved out of the line of sight.

Every foot across the water, every unruffled turn of the head, is accompanied by frantic motion under the surface.

One time when I was swimming, I surprised a goose.

For a few seconds, I saw the power under the magic.

When I surfaced, I smiled, my head steady, my arms lazy.

Under the water, my feet churned the machinery of balance.

IMGP0490I understand the impulse, but I wish that they didn’t bite quite that hard


If you would like to read my book, The Guests of Honor, it is available over here.

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