Swimming, her arms stroke parentheses around recurring fantasies
of his return. Despite her friends who warn her never wait for sailors,
she has swum circles in this pool for years, no land in sight.

Persistent as bubbles erupting beside her ears,
she's logged a thousand miles and more, waiting
for a Western wind, waiting for a blue moon, waiting for a red sky.

In winter, in warm water and cool rain, the mottled surface steams
and she discovers why she waits. For even in this holding tank,
she feels the lunatic pull of tide--her source, her strength.

Sara Backer
First published in Conclave: A Journal of Character