This poem is taken from Stand 226, 18(2) June - August 2020.

Mara Bergman Four Poems

My Daughter Turns into a Fish

We swim the lengths in harmonious turquoise strokes,
       as if to smooth out the years

we’ve not done this together, or since my daughter
       has touched water, now that she no longer

competes in galas. No thought of overtaking
       or racing, we don’t bother to count laps

or create waves but glide with ease as we chat
       side by side, like other women.  

I want to keep things slow
       because they matter. I want to hear every word

my daughter has to utter and for us to stretch this day
       until we can stretch it no farther, a privilege

to have this time together. When we feel ready
       we will enter the steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi,

and eventually the woman at the desk will beckon us
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