"Peaceful Canyon" by Roland Lee
The canyon ledge was steep and stark,
the pool below a patch of dark.
The canyon wrens careened our names
and from the narrow overhangs
the lupines leaned and clung, like us,
to any purchase they could muster.
We grappled down the frowning rock
then bolted for the swimming dock,
slowed to strip down to our skins,
the bullfrogs plopped to beat us in.
Other children, dark and bare,
had bathed and played and squatted there
and left us shining arrowheads
along the rocky water’s edge.
The velvet slime squeezed through our toes,
the water greened our feet and rose
around our hips and pulled us in,
filled our arms and cupped our chins.
Its coolness seeped into an ear.
The minnows threaded through our hair.
We floated there along with clouds,
clouds our ceiling, clouds our ground.
"The Sunday Swim, Comanche Trace" by Noel Crook from Salt Moon. © Southern Illinois University Press, 2015.