On the Way Back

She had swum too far,
felt the power of waves tugging her
towards the horizon
before striking back to shore.
On the way back,
when she reached out her puckered hand,
she felt like beach pebbles
scattered by the sea in ever shifting sand.

Kim M. Russell, 25th January 2021

woman diving underwater

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Quadrille: No way. Way!

Lisa is our host for this Monday’s Quadrille, with the word ‘way’, which she says took her a while to find and settle on. I love the poems she has shared as examples: ‘The Way In’ by Linda Hogan, ‘The Way’ by Edwin Muir and Charles Bukowski’s ‘roll the dice’.

Today we are writing quadrilles, poems of 44 words (excluding the title), which must include the word ‘way’.

In this poem I was thinking of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.

Image by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

58 thoughts on “On the Way Back

  1. Oh the power of the water here, Kim….that towing her farther and farther out….this is palpable in her effort. And the added specific frightening detail that makes the length of time of this swim turned struggle – the “puckered hand” just hits me right in the gut. Just an amazing write that makes me FEEL what is happening here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As Bjorn said, I too feel the sensation and depth of drowning. It feels so real, being submerged even though I’ve never drowned in water. It feels like it’s sucking my lungs out, the pressure only increasing, while my breath is leaving me. I’ve almost sank into a pool before being lifted back up to shallow water, but I never drowned and I think this is the sensation that is most accurate for drowning.

    It also reminds me of people being caught in rip tides. This is so beautifully and evocatively written.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Rip tides are not your friend. I was a strong swimmer in my youth. I used to swim against the current for fun. I once walked out on a jetty at night and meditated. But the tide came in and covered the way back. I did not want to swim back, so I sat for several hours waiting got the tide to turn .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You made it so viivid, Kim, and took me back to that moment of realizing you’ve “swum too far” – frightening. The sense of the fragmented self as “beach pebbles scattered” is exactly what hits after the intense fear.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Powerful writing. Thinking you might drown or be drowning is a scary sensation. Being pushed under by waves or dragged about in the rip current. Wondering if you have the strength in your limbs to even make it back to shore. Captured the emotion perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

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