She goes into the river, swimming, where no one sees the flow of tears in the rush of mountain water. She swims with the salmon, returning, and returning yet again.

She seeks pools and eddies and wild current to sweep her away.

And through it all, her tears soak into the river, flowing, slowing, returning.

I go into the trees, tears soaking into forest floor, seeping between roots and returning, rising up through moss and roots and heartwood.

Rising through leaves to air, to clouds, to rain.

Rain to fall like tears into the river.

She goes into the river, swimming, when sun seeps into the depths, when snow falls, when turning leaves twist in currents. And in the water, in all our tears, she sheds her skin, sheds her grief, and for a moment, is borne away.


4 thoughts on “Swimming

  1. Sitting here drying in the cooling day after today’s swim (I never use a towel after getting out of the water, just like to feel myself slowly go from wet to dry) and reading your beautiful words.
    While I was in the river today I met one of Sam’s friends. He was chatting with my swimming companion and listening to them talk about kayaking I thought of all the runs in all the creeks and rivers that Sam was never going to do and my stomach started to do little flips. When he brought up another kayaker and asked if we knew him I said yeah and in my head I said ‘he was with Sam the day he died’.
    I must have had the most frozen look on my face.
    I swam another lap and felt the water hold me like an embrace.
    Kept my tears in until now.


    • Such an incredibly hard thing. I wish, so many times, that I had words to take your tears away, but some days all I seem able to do is make us cry more. No wonder the river is running high.


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