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Joanna, Wading

(by Timothy Steelle)

 

Too frail to swim, she nonetheless

Gingerly lifts her cotton dress

Clear of the lake, so she can wade

Where the descending sun has laid

A net of rippling, molten bands

Across the underwater sands.

 

Her toes dig, curling, in the cool

And fine-grained bottom; minnows school

Before her, tauly unified

In their suspended flash-and-glide;

Blue-brilliantly, a dragonfly

Encounters and skims round her thigh.

 

Despite age, all this still occurs.

The sun’s companionably hers,

Its warmth suffusing blood and flesh,

While its light casts the mobile mesh

Whose glowing cords she swam among

In summertime when she was young.