the healing muse

Volume 9, 2009

Swimming in a Watering Can

Bruce Bennett

Something was stuck. I thought it was some leaves,
so I poured out the water from the top.
There was this lump. I saw it was a mouse.
He must have tried to drink and lost his balance.
I stood there staring. Just a little lump
wet on the wet ground. Nothing could have saved him.
Who could have heard? Who would have heard a mouse
swimming? And it was outside, in the dark.
I don’t know why the thought of that upsets me.
Maybe it’s all the other stuff. It’s just
that awful image: paddling in the water,
helpless and desperate, nothing to catch hold of,
feeling your strength fail, little by little by little,
paddling and paddling, sinking, all alone.

Return to Table of Contents, Volume 9, 2009.

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