Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The Last Swim

Tonight was the penultimate poetry class before the holiday and our teacher introduced this poem by Michael Laskey. He was in Manchester at the weekend giving a poetry reading and running a writing workshop. I wasn't able to attend, but I will seek out more of his poems as I love the powerful simplicity of his writing.

The Last Swim

September, October ... one thing 
you don't know at the time is when 
you've had your last swim: the weather 
may hold, may keep nudging you in.

Only afterwards, sometimes days on, 
it dawns on you that you've done: 
just the thought of undressing outdoors, 
exposing bare skin, makes you wince.

And that's best, to have gone on swimming 
easily to the end: your crawl 
full of itself, and the future 
no further than your folded towel.
Michael Laskey
From The Tightrope Wedding, 1999
Photo of Hampstead Heath swimming pond by tonyhall used under a Creative Commons License 

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