Swimming with Dolphins

for Rick B.
by Kimberly Gladman Jackson


Dolphin therapy has been shown to help children and adults with severe physical and mental challenges, sometimes bringing almost miraculous change to situations that had seemed beyond hope.

–Website, Island Dolphin Retreat Center

If I went down to the ocean
Could I dive with you
Palms on springy-strong blue flank
To the sandy graylit bottom
And then arc up to the sun
Turn corkscrews in the spray
To heal my heart?

Can human pain dissolve
In a pod a thousand strong
Full of lovemaking and fighting
And a crowd of half-brain dreams
Wish/bliss/nightmare switching on and off till dawn?

Perhaps I’d need to travel
For long hours in your wake
Till I learned to see by hearing
And could listen to the coast
Fractal beauty charting sandbars, rocks and shoals

Maybe your language has a word
For solace floating, safe-unmoored
Or anguish piercing-leaching-vanished in the waves

Or would the silence between whistles
Send a message to my soul?

Would I finally see the pattern
That can make what’s broken, whole
In those lacunae filled with sealight
Dappled green and gold?

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