'Drowning Days'
by Mike Finn

I drop into the Drowning Day
with the grace of a sleeping man
thrown overboard into a lake in winter.

 

Even as the Day closes over me
and the this-can't-be-happening shock hits me,
I keep looking up.

 

To the surface.

 

To the light.

 

To where I should be.

 

As the Day's cold numbs me
and my lungs scream for air,
I let myself continue to fall.

 

The Drowning Day wants me
to open my mouth
and take it in.

 

I want me to...

 

Sink?

 

Swim?

 

My legs kick and my arms pull,
deciding for me that this is not
my Drowning Day.

 

The difference between drowning and swimming?

 

Not hope or fear but sheer bloodymindedness.