I move toward the pool with delusions
of grace coursing through my muscles,
eager to feel the sky against my skin.
I am caught on the wings of a dream,
limbs in perfect formation,
like a bird in tandem with the wind
plunging toward the water.
I stop to linger in the scent of flight.
The smell of chlorine attacks my senses,
tearing doubt into my imagination.
I stumble to the ladder and start
my climb to the 3- meter board,
a thimble of fright tapping
a ballad across my rib bones.
Cold metal screams against my feet,
vines of anxiety crawling with skill
up the back of my neck.
I look nervously toward my coach,
pleading for a glimmer of confidence
or a fistful of staunch advice.
“If your fear is greater than your desire,
climb down”, she tells me.
It turns out I’m not a bird after all.
I prefer my feet on the ground.
Susan Richardson is living, writing and going blind in Los Angeles. In addition to poetry, she writes a blog called,. Her work has been published in Foxglove Journal, Amaryllis, The Writing Disorder and Eunoia Review, among others. She was awarded the Sheila – Na – Gig 2017 Winter Poetry Prize, featured in the Literary Juice Q&A Series, and chosen as the Ink Sweat & Tears March 2018 Poet of the Month. She also writes for the .