A ways to go

I know you’re not here near the pool to watch me,
as my nose suddenly floods with chlorinated water,
that eye-stinging burn and then the power snort,
a floundering horse up to his ears,
but with his sinuses absolutely clear,
like the social calendar of a worm,
looking at the night and for you
perhaps –

but no, I don’t want you watching me
like this –
Thank God, you can’t,
a swimming champ, see me
dog-paddling-y sidestroking sort of
kind of meandering toward the pool edge,
inhaling gloops of sharp water,
drowning me by glubs and blubs –

It’s so f’ing cold in here at this time of night,
when you think you might just die
so close yet so far from the apron.

Can I?
Can I make it back to the warm concrete
before my arms and legs give out,
and I sink like a pebble
from the world, ground up
but still unfinished?

“Hey,” my dad yells, arriving
just in time. “Get over here.”

He holds out the long bamboo pole
for me to grab, then pulls me
to the pool ladder.

“Lan, didn’t I tell you to always
stay on the shallow end.”

“But I wanted to dive,” I say.

“You mean you wanted to die,” he says.
“No diving for you until you finish
your swimming lessons.
You got a ways to go, buddy,
before you dive.”

I nod, have to agree, half dead,
I climb wearily out of the pool.

As we’re walking away,  my dad’s hand
on my shoulder guiding me,
I glance back
at that tempting plank I promise I will walk,
then jump so high and end so deep,
touching the bottom like a pro.
The prefect swan dive. Make him proud.

Soon, I think, very soon. 

* * * * *

Today’s word is


Write a piece either using unfinished in it, or using unfinished as a springboard for it, and then post that piece as a comment below. I would love to read what you come up with : ) Happy /Saturday

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