Midland Swimmer

1'Are you asleep?'
2Like a door that always opens
3on the same empty closet,
4the old jokey question
5you can never answer 'yes' to
6is a snap, in comparison
7to 'Where are you?'
8Moving, wherever you are.
9Even your stillness on the back seat takes
10the bent of action, a kicking reach
12My live question mark,
13are they salt or sweet, the waters
14you riddle?
15Asking gets me as far
16as ladling water with a net.
17Though I can catch your small
18beached foot, and hear
19soft waves of breath, the mesh
20of senses isn't fine enough
21to land you now.
22When you come back,
23you'll rub the sand from your eyes
24and know nothing of where you've been.
25Love is like that: the element
26we breathe and move through,
27untouchable and always


11] afghan: knitted wool wrap. Back to Line
Publication Notes: 
Midland Swimmer (London, Ontario: Brick Books, 1996): 24.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire