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for Matthew Doyle Jacobus


One day I took you from your motherís side

(you wonít recall the fertile estuaryís seethe),

Down where the minnows surfaced with the tide

And we labored in the muggy air to breathe.

You werenít quite four, while I was old and smitten

(you wonít remember and youíll need to know)

Sick with love.  I read NO SWIMMING written

On the sign, and yet I let you go.

Naked as a newt you paddled in my arms

While I kicked in the murky undertow,

Bouyed up by life too golden, sleek and warm

(you donít remember, some think it better so)

To reason or resist.  Your slightest wish

Became my choice and in the southern heat

We hung in that white noon, two strange, pale fish,

Woman and child, eternal and complete.

You donít remember, but you knew it all:

Swimming the tidal waters by yourself,

Scorning the arms that held you, deftly to crawl

Onto that wide, alluvial silt shelf.


Beaufort, North Carolina


Suzanne Doyle



© 1992 Suzanne J. Doyle.  Used by permission.


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