When I was little my brother and I would climb down the ladder at the deep end of the pool. went deeper, held
longer underwater won. Water pushed me up as I pushed
myself down, my
long hair swimming above me, cheeks
puffing. I am afraid of drowning.
I would always be first to break surface, wait for my brother to rise.
My husband and I walk the drained reservoir. What’s left crosses us: stone foundations, wooden boats, an old blue bottle.
Ice chimes tingle across broken water. My husband goads me, urges rock to rock.
I toss the bottle to him. It crashes against stone.
Skiing, I went without fear but found it in my knees which shook
uncontrollably. Knew with each turn, I would fall.
To lose control
is to fall.
What I need and what I have hang on a trapeze I cannot grasp one
without abandoning the other. I want
mid-air, live in the gasp between
letting go and getting
About the Author
Linda McCauley Freeman is the author of the full-length poetry collection The Family Plot (Backroom Window Press, 2022) and has been widely published in international journals, including in a Chinese translation. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize 2022. Recently she appeared in Delta Poetry Review, Poet Magazine, Amsterdam Quarterly, and won Grand Prize in StoriArts’Maya Angelou poetry contest. She received a grant from Arts MidHudson and was selected for Poets Respond to Art 2020, 2021 and 2022 shows. She was a three-time winner in the Talespinners Short Story contest judged by Michael Korda. She has an MFA from Bennington College and is the former poet-in-residence of the Putnam Arts Council. She lives in the Hudson Valley, NY. Follow her at www.Facebook.com/LindaMcCauleyFreeman