As I was leaving the beach one late October morning, some passers-by said “You’re her – you’re the October Swimmer!”
Thank you, Valery Nash.
October SwimmerThe figure, we said, was a woman. Something about her slimness, the way she stood so long, looking out, as if to stand waist deep in ocean was what she had come for. We were half-way down the beach and though I meant to keep my eyes steadily on her to catch the moment she dived in, I must have been watching the dog or tossing the ball. When I looked again she was almost invisible, stroking far out. This was October, cool Cape Ann, where the water’s icy even in August. How long she held herself on the verge of plunging How long, how far she swam. I thought, on city streets a woman doesn’t linger as easily as a man or walk as far alone. But from this ocean, she is often the last to come in, fighting the season’s cold with the body’s joy.
from October Swimmer, poems by Valery Nash