Standing in my blue summer-stained one-piece.
Twelve years old, fellow campers’ goose-bumped bodies wait
to start the swim across lake Coniston,
rowboats and canoes ready in case we drown,
I plunge into the icy water, crawl away from the screaming
children on shore, relieved it is not their turn today –
The mile swim - final ritual of a Red Cross course.
My toes brush lake muck, seaweed, fishes,
shadowy spirits of unhappy campers forced to swim on rainy days,