Swimming To The Rock

By Mary Atkinson

My father and brothers
are swimming to the Rock.
“Come with us!”
they call to me
and I say,
“Maybe next year.”

The Rock is very, very far away.

I sit on the dock
with my peanut butter sandwich.
I watch them
dive into the water
and swim into the distance
their kicks and
splashes and elbows
getting smaller and smaller
as they near the Rock.

It takes them a long, long time.

They arrive and pull themselves to stand
and wave their arms in the air.
I can’t see it but I know their hands are in fists.
I can’t hear it but I know they are cheering.
Even the loons call to celebrate their arrival!

I sit on my dock
dangling my feet in the water
counting dragonflies.

My father and brothers
come closer
and from the water
lift their faces with
wild wet smiles
And I think

This year!

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