Nipiy,

I have always loved and feared you.

Loved you in little bits

in cups and sprinklers and water balloons

feared you as a whole

in lakes and pools.

 

Fear

learning to float

jumping off the board

plunging into your depths

pulled down

emerge

scream

to the annoyed, impatient look of the swimming instructor.

My brother was not so brave.

often staying home

too “sick” for swimming class.

 

Nipiy,

It took a while — and lots of courage —

but we have become fine friends

I have learned to be one with you;

swim in you like a fish,

glide upon you in a boat.

 

Nipiy,

You took my brother!

Fought him

Pulled him down into your dark depths

How I hated you!

Smacked you with an oar

with my hand

with my tears!

And now my soul is drowning

plunging, submerged in this sorrow

in you

surfacing

hopeful

only to be pulled back down

into its dark depths again.

Nipiy…

 

Life engulfed

feel nothing else

slowly I feel again

life fills itself back in

and you become a small pond.

I touch its surface

and you send ripples as big as waves

that well up in my tears and immerse me again.

Nipiy

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