Two Piece

My baby doesn't swim when I do,
an hour every Friday,
pushing myself off from the sides
while he (she?) floats,
weightless and silent.

Each night
I hypnotize my limbs,
let my thoughts rise like bubbles,
feel my body loose and limp,

and then the swimming of my baby begins,
dancing past my stillness.

This is not part of me.

You are a new self.

You will never stay
within the narrow ropes of my lane.
Disregarding my favorite games,
choosing unlikely teammates,
evading what I enjoy
and pursuing what I do not.
Darting past
my must-haves, my absolutes,
and turning back to laugh.

You will choose
and plan
and dream
and move,

I don't need to cut the cord
to symbolize what I already know.
I have your constant beating fins
to kick it into me.

You will repel the lifeguards'
calls and cautions,
diving into the cold headfirst.

From placenta to milk to mothering,
you'll freestyle to and away,
surprising me with a splash,
to take what you need
and give what you choose.

Bare feet slapping the deck,
child's triumphant echoes to the ceiling,
chlorine sharp in your nose,
swim free from me,

from this pool out into the
wild, wide ocean.

I gladly slice the line holding you
and grant what is not mine to give —


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