Distance 300m, air temp -2.8, water temp 9.8, frosty and dry
I take to water,
left of the dual carriageway
on a frosty, January morning.
I take no time for fear,
don't swallow it, don't let it swallow me.
I listen to the birdsong, imagine the horseshoe bats taking flight behind my eyelids
on a dimlit night,
channel their screams, carried in silence upon human ear.
My toes curl into the metal grate of a step, fingers lick the edge of water
as if a long-lost lover's remeeting.
I picture you, between the pool edge and I,
shivering, all winter silver and black.
The drips, caught on tips, splash on the back of my stained neck, where a swan sits and has sat
for over a decade,
A moment of grief I shall gladly carry
for my lifetime.
I sink, and wade, and swim,
breathe the Devon chill across the surface,
imagine being a seal and living out my days in the pool.
My flesh, the colour grey, stroked fondly by visitors,
my mind thinking only of food and comfort.
and swim in laps.
The Buckfastleigh lifeguard checks in,
feels like a friend, invests his interest in our well-being.
My soul swells, soars and bursts
upon this brilliant dry, sunny morn
and I thank this great Earth
and those humans on it
who make this lido a home.