Saturday, October 2, 2010


Snorkeling through Chicago, I surfaced above a pizzeria, deep dish, with anchovies swimming thick as double-crust. Waves of traffic rose and fell, but it was not hard to stay afloat. Bobbing up and down, I watched a school of lunch-hour swimmers battle through the current to a reef-shielded cove: a coffee shop full of languid anemones and slow seastars, bubbles drifting up to tickle the seaweed canopy.

Tacking onto 9th, I kicked out from the shallows. Warm sunlight filtered down and rippled along the sandy bottom, dancing slowly with the kelp and eels. Spying several mounds I dove to dig them out. They were just in reach, slightly above the ear-crushing depth. Two were nothing but underwater dunes, the third a testy ray, fins rolling and barb raised. I swam quickly away and up,  gulping breath from the sky. 

A dolphin pod of leaping taxis passed, playing games of chase and tag, but instead I caught the bus that trundled along behind them, a whale making its ponderous way. When I could see our beach-house I let go of the whale and drifted, letting the tide bring me in. I splashed ashore some way down the beach, nearly to the jetty--farther than I had been that way in months. 

The tide was out and so there was much more to see than often met the eye on wading trips when I had gone there in the past. That was where I watched the careful crab in blue and green strut past an oyster hole. Closer than I had known to look, I found precisely the treasure that I had swum out looking for. 

That is where I found for you this sparkling strand of pearls.

note: I was playing around with inserting line breaks to make it poem-esque. How do you think it works as a prose piece?

No comments:

Post a Comment