The children are learning to dive

by Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang

They want to master
the art of air and water, the untold
leagues of their own reach.

The children are still young enough
to do this naked. Soon they will change
behind towels, wet and embarrassed.

In a few summers they will learn everything
by themselves. They will dive
with adolescent grace, wear
the water like a skin
and wear their skin like water.

Now they upend themselves
with foolish trust and send
shock waves of belly flops
through the dark lake.

Everything makes way for them.
The pike shimmy to deeper water
the turtles leave for higher ground.

Then the lake wears
its implacable face again
and its depths team with wilderness.

— from Juniper Volume 3, Issue 1