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The 4th of July.
A reluctant trip.
A promise  to keep.
Wife and kids on the shore.
I swim on a troubled soul.
"What if I just let go?"
"What if I slip beneath the waves?"  
On I swim until I know
I am beyond my mortal soul.
Waves wash over me. 
It is time to go.
Losing my hold I let go.
"Wait! I don't want to die."
This fatal swim is my folly.
An attempt to heal my temporal soul.
I swim for shore wasting fast.
I don't  know if my strength will last.
I reach for the ground beneath
but slip instead farther into the deep.
Gasping, I return in to the sultry air.
weaker now than before
choking on  the pleasant waters.
I hear myself pray, 
"Let me live another day."
Life is better with all of its ills
than to lie beneath the windy waves.
I fight the waves with desperate hope .
I fight to survive.
The gentle waves are no longer so
but towering mountains stealing breath.
I am drowning.
I fight to swim.
I fight to live.
"O God help me!"
Suddenly I am a religious man
praying as hard as I can.
I search for the ground but sink again
into the murky deep.
My eyes are wide in terror
like some frightened horse.
Falling faster ever faster
to a watery tomb.
With one last gasp and a frantic stroke
I inch closer to the shore.
I am finished.
I can't go on.
I let go.
My feet touch the ground
my head above the waves.
"What? I'm alive!" 
Grateful I swim to the shore
where ignorant of my fight
my wife and children enjoy the day.
I fall down upon dry ground crying tears of relief.
In that moment of greatest joy
with my battle fresh inside.
I look at my wife
who calmly sighs,
"What kind of sandwich do you want?"

Copyright © | Year Posted 2014

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