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Soap Box Poets

The Story of My Life
© by Susan Fila

I think about the people I love,
In my eyes they walk on water.
But I cannot and never wanted to walk with them.
So while they are moving swiftly, smoothly and surely along the tops of the waves,
I'm swimming far behind them, muscle-sore and panting, striving to catch them.
My stroke begins to improve, the cramps to ease, the gap between us to lessen.
And then I glance into the ocean's depths and, without thought or warning, dive; plunging, swimming hard for the bottom; I want to see first-hand the fish that are all teeth and jaws and phosphorescent eyes.
On the bottom I look up from surrounding blackness.
The glowing, toothy fish provide no illumination.
I notice the beams of light filtering down through the water's surface and it occurs to me:
That is where I'm supposed to be, in the light and air.
I thrash, trying to reach the surface, but halfway there am stopped dead by a shark chewing on my foot.
Up, the light promises air and healing; down, the darkness pulls and seduces

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