When August leaves me breathless, so close and hot
That my mind becomes sluggish and my spirits melt
I come where the river runs too cool for thought,
So clear that the willow shadows bend and sway
On its tawny bed where smolt and minnows play.
I strip off my clothes, dive in and flail away
Among all that dazzle and cold, let myself get caught
With the current against me, all for naught.
Most people swim upstream, like my guests
Who love to thrash like mad around the bend,
In displays of aquatic prowess.
Not me: I flip on my back, surrender
My self entirely, let the river render
Me willy nilly~ aimless, cool and blessed.
by Annis Pratt