Swimming in Time (at the age of 66)

Suzanne Linford

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Sixty is a gusty decade.

Bursts of wind swoop and scoop everything not bolted down by

Fear or anger.

It's becoming habit now to

Set things out and watch them blow away, stumbling along the ground

Seeking purchase

And then, flying up and gone.

The heavier and older weights,

Those that once tore and then just wore against my heart

Take longer.

Sometimes they have to be unbolted first

And that can take some work, rust remover, W240, studying.

I never miss what the wind takes.

I only miss the sound of thrumming

(A happy cousin of heartbeat) coming

In like a helicopter once the weights are gone.

I love a small child who walked down Berkeley

Streets dressed in hand made calico dresses.

Her curls bounced as she walked fearlessly, purposely.

Her mother ran on supple smooth skinned legs to catch her.

Today, she boards a plane for Kenya as part of her international job.

Her curls are faintly visible under the baseball hat she wears when she runs.

Recently, she told me she ran in Hyde Park between meetings she attended in London.

Our conversation is interrupted by calls she makes to her own curly haired children

Who seem to have taken up climbing especially while we talk on the phone.

But I still run after her in my dreaming

And hope she remembered to take insect repellant and antibiotics.

It seems strange that I did not pack her a lunch.

Then, I catch when I realize it is no longer my job to keep her safe.

Now in my sixties, I play a lot.

Except for the dentist, I avoid doing anything that is not fun.

I move a little slower than I did when I ran down streets after

Galloping toddlers.

And my knees look different.

I am in disguise as a "senior" person.

My thoughts have never ranged so freely, so deeply nor so dangerously.

Now I think multi dimensionally across parallel lines of times.

I look at people on the street and recognize some

By photos I saw of veterans or their wives from wars fought so long ago

That only their grand children or great, great grandchildren would still be alive.

I'll see someone who I once went to high school with and realize that the person I'm

Watching is still 18.

The fact that they are all gone is the conventional assumption for people who don't live simultaneously in multiple lines of time.

Conventions are also useful covers, camouflage for hard and passionate truths.

I keep a few tied down in the yard just in case. Seniors are assumed to be conventional, so I don't need to keep many around.

Today I am going to swim.

Long leisurely laps where I am suspended in light and the sound of my breath.

It is a rich age, and I am lightened by wind and water.

Other works by Suzanne Linford


Susie Linford