Take the plunge with a poem about swimming under the stars

Treading water

By Jessica Oakwood

We swim together sometimes

at the weekend.

We don’t do lengths

we just float around aimlessly in the pool.

It’s a small one, attached to the kind of hotel

that’s popular for weddings.

It is often just us in there.

That’s my favourite

when we’re the only people

in the water

and we hold our palms together

and go around in circles

until I feel dizzy.

He never does.

He likes to spin in circles on solid ground

if no one is watching.

We’re both autistic, FYI.

In the water, we talk about everything

under the sun and the sky and the stars

As the light cascades into the pool

leaving a dappled imprint on the azure blue water.

I think of our friendship this way too –

as though we are floating through life together

swimming in circles.

Occasionally he will try to prise me out of the water

recreating the lift from Dirty Dancing.

And we will splutter and splash around

until things are righted again.

We are having the time of our lives too

just floating.

I would say it’s without a care in the world

but I carry cares with me,

many of them.

But while we float in the water

they briefly



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