“For Grandma, in the Deep Water” by Anya Morgan ’12
You are teaching yourself at 71,
Learning your way through the expanse
With the tentative steps you should’ve mastered years ago.
From the top of the stairs,
The depth of the deep end is unimaginable,
Hostile to your untrained arms
And half-inflated floaties.
You will sink with your unpronounceable name
Into the deep blue jaws of the pool.
Still, you edge onto the bottom step,
Into the thicker water
Trusting the lifeguard,
But not the two teenagers
Who dive again and again,
Stirring the underwater nebula,
A soup of Band-Aids and suffocation.
While you will forget other things
(birthdays, your keys in the door, the names of your grandchildren)
You will remember this water always.
In your lucid moments you will gurgle in fear
At the thought of its menacing silence
And surging undertow.
But try as we might,
We cannot save you as the lifeguard could.
We can only watch as you wade further and further
Into the depths,
Moving forward if only to escape
Being pulled under.
Featured Image: A fallen leaf. Photographer: Rosemary Pastron ’16