While Swimming in Pleasant Bay, I’ve Come to Realize

a buoy
its barnacles
its rusted clasp
frayed rope

my underwater thoughts
like the walkie-talkie vents he and I spoke through
at the make-shift drive-in
the plastic cars we drove
once upon a time

and now my arm pulling
grasping through darkness

my brother
white caps
a distant island.


Click here to read Christine Jones on the origin of the poem.

Image: photo by Federica Giusti on Unsplash , licensed under CC 2.0.

Christine Jones:
I often work out problems while I swim, sometimes lines of a poem, but it’s magical when the two merge, like the sea and sky. This poem is a result of how one swim in particular helped put into focus an inner conflict I was having with a sibling and allowed me to embrace the concept of radical acceptance.

The barnacled buoy with the rusted clasp and algae became a metaphor for my brother in a close-up lens through swim goggles. I didn’t know exactly how this poem would come together but white space provided breath to the images bringing clarity to the long-standing tension within the relationship. When the image of the distant island came into view, I realized that was also him; far off and isolated, somewhere I can not reach.

Christine Jones


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