Swimming in the Notre Dame College pool


As ancient pilgrims sought to enter by

degrees to Paradise, we pull our chilled

and chastened bodies through rectangled sky-

reflecting, rope-divided water, called

from wall to wall by hope and counted laps

to thirty-six, a half a mile, or more,

depending on the breath, how many strokes

the heart decided that day to beat before

the final lap. For now, the white-walled pool

the blue-walled room suffice through goggled blur

and hyperventilated high to steal

away what else of earth we see or hear.

The soul seeks heaven, flies to higher air.

The swimmer crawls in water, finds it there.

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