If I put the camera down, I see

My boys try on attitudes
of bodies in water.

The newly eleven on the diving board,
a slight hesitation, a running to the edge,

a throwing of flesh into whatever
molten star shape five limbs can make

before smacking water, before mouth
flashing light, before Awgh!

Next, the monk waddle. Hands
in prayer at breast,

then the innocent fall.
And the almost eight sits quietly

astraddle the alligator’s eyes
while bigger boys climb and pull.

He is proud not to fall off, jaw set
to stay astride while they battle,

cheeks pinching nylon, peeking
out from trunks. He hugs low,

alligator jockey, ear plugs
still in place, protecting tubes,

his last two. The others float
see-through somewhere in the pool.

2010

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