The promise of the depths

 Here is not a puddle for a toddler to stamp through,
or frothy rapids for excited adolescents to scream in.
Here is a pool in the bend of the river where we swim together.
 
We leave our clothes near the grassy bank where the saxifrage grew,
cross the rocky beach graced recently by cows,
slowly wade in over slippery stones, wait, hip-deep, poised.
 
The surface of the water is shaded from the afternoon sun by trees;
unknown rocks and sand on the bottom, unseen fish in the depths;
the moment comes to lean forward and enter the intensity.
 
The same silky water that holds you holds me;
our breast strokes make bow waves that mingle as they fade;
your precious body gathers more beauty as you swim.
 
I cannot touch the swallows as they flit above the pool
nor catch these moments alongside you in the river:
to hold on to you is to sink and drown the two of us.
 
The river flows from this pool and to the sea.
One day, on the shore, we will hear the silkies calling:
I will take your hand, and we will swim into the depths.

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