some days, i remember you taught me to float

just that, to float.
while mother still had PTSD
from that time (long ago) a cousin
drowned in the midst of a pool
party, surrounded by family:
rambunctious and so
unaware.

but you, laughing, held out
your arms, stick-thin but sturdy,
bade me lay back and trust
that the water would buoy me:
palms spread, looking up
and up, at endless
blue sky.

everything sparkled then.
sun, smiles, seawater.
now my PTSD won’t let me be
(truly) buoyant. but i trust that,
someday, it will go away.
can’t swim, won’t sink,
because you taught me,

i can
just
float.

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