• Maybe it was fifth grade.
    The first time I attempted something beyond the hundred:
    The two hundred.
    It was a painful event, but I was proud.
    A few meets later, I had dropped thirty seconds.

    I tried the five hundred in ninth.
    Twenty laps of burning agony.
    No one cheered for me, and I was forgotten
    By the girl who I trusted to count laps for me.
    After some time, the numbered board was plunged into the water:

    This year I swam it again.
    Half is agony, half is an oasis for an over stimulated mind.
    I flipped. Bree’s voice penetrated the water.
    Rhiannon counted my laps, urging me on with her thundering voice.
    One small act made all the difference on the final length:
    Instead of a bright orange square,
    I was greeted by a bold “69.”

    She remembered.

    Inspired, I confronted the wall, my arms gliding down
    Legs rippling with impact.
    I flew from the cacophony of cheering teammates
    And felt that I had been reborn.