Swimming to the Rock

by Mary Atkinson

 

My father and brothers

are swimming to the Rock.

“Come with us!”

they call to me

and I say

“Maybe next year.”

 

The Rock is very, very far away.

 

I sit on the dock

with my peanut butter sandwich.

I watch them

dive into the water

and swim into the distance

their kicks and

splashes and elbows

getting smaller and smaller

as they near the Rock.

 

It takes them a long, long time.

 

They arrive and pull themselves to stand

and wave their arms in the air.

I can’t see it but I know their hands are in fists

I can’t hear it but I know they are cheering

Even the loons call to celebrate their arrival!

 

I sit on the dock

dangling my feet in the water

counting dragonflies

 

My father and brothers

come closer

and from the water

lift their faces with

wild wet smiles

And I think

 

This year!