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Swimming Lessons

I'm thinking about swimming lessons,
the ones we had every year in elementary school,
winters at the indoor community pool,
bussed over in the cold and back
with wet hair. The ugly bathing suits,
bins of inner tubes and foam floaters.
I never got very high up in class.
Though I can swim for fun or to save
my life, I'm nothing fancy.

I refused to dive. I felt I wasn't graceful,
that I'd get water in my nose.
I didn't want to open my eyes under water.

It was the same reason I didn't
do the pummel horse in high school,
that my body would betray me. My legs
would catch somewhere, and I'd fall
right on my face. I don't skate
or do cartwheels. I was never athletic.
I don't trust my feet to be
on wheels or over my head.