She Was Always Drowning

Joan McBride

 

She was such a little thing,
hair like trailing seaweed,
frothy opaque skin—like a slow
outgoing tide.  A sea foam
of a girl.  Her blue eyes reflected a
cloudless sky and her body followed
the phases of the moon.

She was always falling in the water
as a baby she would slide under
the bath water and stare up
at the dry world.  So still,
not even reaching for my hand.
Later flailing in a pool and
later still, walking off
a pier into a whirl of black water,
Finally her father catches a swirl
of hair and drags her up… delivers
her, head-first, from that dark lake.

Then one day, in a dry sterile
place, without falling or flailing or
sliding down she would
drown just the same.  And
her hair would lie still.
And her eyes
would cloud over.
And the moon would withdraw.
And the treasures from the
tides would be no more.