Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Swimming Lessons

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Minnows and their moms
hurry in           no running
no floaties         they bob
in the shallow end     feet
lighter than the air    outside
humid hot     hold your nose
dunk     then    sleek heads
break water       gasp in air
guppies swam earlier
tread water     flutter kick
breathe       breathe
pollywogs slipped home
to naps by now     lily pad
blankets pulled        over
still damp hair    barely green
this one dogpaddles slowly
dreaming next year
she will be        a bluegill
a dolphin        flying fish
her mother poolside with
towels       her unread book
watching     wings unfurled.


Lisa Hammond Rashley is an Associate Professor of English at the University of South Carolina Lancaster. Her poems have appeared in a number of journals, including Southern Poetry Review, StorySouth, English Journal, Timber Creek Review, and Coelacanth. Her academic research focuses on gender and technology; her most recent article, Work it Out With your Wife: Gendered Expectations and Parenting Rhetoric Online is forthcoming in the National Women’s Studies Association Journal. She lives in Rock Hill, South Carolina, with her husband and their two children.


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