By Mimi Haddon (St. Anne's College, 2006)

We are warned
not to save those who are drowning.

Throw line or word instead.

Lily in her summer pool
drew Daddy's trachea from its nestling place.
Mothers clamber ferociously onto the buoyancy
of their hero-sons,
or suck with wind's lungs
their Ophelias—
whose ebullience and love
are recast into Medusa's raft.

The pull! The draw
of that bulging water,
encircling the dizzied midriff,
buckling the stead-fast hold of the spine.

We are flung over the dunes—
curved and rolling like bicep flesh.
The granite-freckled sand gorgeous crackles in the sun—

To leap
to washed-up flotsam.

A few inches, they say.