Swim Sideways

Sunlight dapples the wavelets
They sparkle as living jewels
while children cavort on the beach
Happy holiday strollers laugh
their toes caressed by foam
and the bubbling escape of
sand crabs and beach hoppers
You tread water and look on
not taking part
though you might wish to
In fact, you try but you can’t
the undertow is pulling you away
pulling you down
pulling you under
You signal for help but
they don’t understand and
wave back happy greetings
which only makes it worse
“Swim sideways” you’ve heard
“that will get you out of the current”
It seems to work for the tide of water
but what is sideways
to the tide
of grief and depression?

–– C. Eric Funston, 6 July 2022 ––