Treasure Island

Oscar Mireles


Courage is setting yourself free


As she maneuvered
her entourage
of a motorized wheelchair
trained assistance dog
and personal assistant
into the Olympic size swimming pool
at the health club

I thought that it was
a nice idea
to come and sit
at the edge of the pool
and that it would probably
be therapeutic
or at least a refreshing
change of place
for someone in a wheelchair

but she scooted her vehicle
into front of the first swim lane
and as she was chatting to her assistant
the dog just sat there by the door
resting

her assistant reached behind her and
lifted her torso up and placed
her at the edge of the pool

as I was sitting in the
nearby whirlpool
at 4: 30 in the afternoon
I became curious
about what they were going to do next?
was the parapaligic
going to just go in the water
and sit or was there something more in store

when she was tossed in the water
I realized she must have been a swimmer before
you could tell by her upper body
that she had once had a sleek form
that swimmers have
powerful shoulder muscles

she started with a back stroke
her thick arms making a V stroke
her clenched fists
providing an engine to paddle her body
down the lane
since she had no control over her legs
the graceful placement of her head
during her swimming stroke
face up in the pool
forced her knees to come up
to the surface
this improvised technique
had half her body moving furiously
and the other half
the useless half
being dragged behind

she had an unusual turn
in which instead of using the wall
of the turn to propel off
she turned first sideways
and then circled back
and went on her way

but as she finished the turn
I saw a peaceful look
on her face

she had found
freedom of movement
once again
in a swimming pool

one of the most dangerous places
to be in
when you have lost control
of most of your body

Submitted: Monday, January 02, 2006
Edited: Sunday, January 08, 2006

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  • Mary Nagy (1/2/2006 5:53:00 PM)

    Some people are so easy to sit in awe of. I wonder if you'll ever show her this poem..........I bet she would be proud. sincerely, Mary (Report) Reply

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