Her Final Swim

For Sarah

When you swam across that final time, was there someone beside you?

You were out in the deep when the cramps hit you. I was the one who dived in and helped you reach the dock, waiting behind you on the ladder to make sure you made it up.

I knew you one summer, but your Cajun beauty, the droplets of water glistening on your lovely skin, your smile and gentle spirit, have remained with me like that careful swim in the lake.

Remembering you, I searched and found you were gone, dying three years ago, still young, and I can’t help but wonder what your life was like and whether you remembered a tousled haired Mississippi boy with glasses who was completely overwhelmed by the sight of you.

I could not be there this time. I did not know you were making that final swim. But I hope you were not alone and that someone stronger than I reached down with a welcoming hand as you climbed out of the water onto that celestial shore.

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