Before Diving


I felt the water hush and glide
before the surface broke,
before my toes had curled over the rough dock
while I still lay wrapped
in wool war blankets that scratched my skin
and considered how tired soldiers must have been,
before I pushed off the wood
through the air,
the first flight before the next,
cold morning air
blue and crisp skimming
along the near-black lakewater,
my skin pimpled
to receive the wet stroke
fish call air.