One Deep Breath


By noon he’s pretty toasted,
buys himself a burger and a Coke
and goes down to sit in the shade
beside the lake, contemplate
its smooth surface like it’s a
giant crystal ball, and try to
divine whatever comes next.
The only other beings he encounters
are a few ragged gulls
scavenging the shoreline for scraps
and a pair of loons
forty or fifty feet out, bobbing and diving
for whatever it is loons dive for.
He watches them for the longest time,
thinking about how quiet it must be
just below the surface. He wonders
why they come back up at all.

IG/RT — Tuesday Platform

12 thoughts on “One Deep Breath

  1. I always wonder about what dreams may come when one stays under the surface. Even though I no longer hold to the beliefs of my youth, I have decided to make peace with this side of the water.

  2. This has a calming, at first, and then an ominous tone at the end–perhaps unintended. That’s the fun of poetry–reading into it what you will…speculating as to the poet’s true meaning, when it usually has multiple meanings…sometimes welling up from the subconscious. It’s always enlightening to me to find meaning in my own work that I hadn’t considered was there until someone pointed it out.

  3. Life beneath, life above – just two different versions. I like to believe they come back up because creatures inherently opt for life – in one of its many forms.

  4. Yes, I do wonder, what is it like beneath the sea? What happens in those last seconds? What thoughts go through the brain? Will I know these seconds are the last seconds I will know? Or do I think I will always return to the surface?

  5. A very ominous tone… It sort of left me feeling a bit scared for the speaker, wondering it this is one of those dangerous crossed-roads where a soul needs someone to remind it why it’s standing where it is.

  6. I wonder too sometimes why I come back to the surface. And then I look around at the baby kittens, the green of trees, my beloved husband. I realize that push come to shove, it is still better on this side.

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