Tree Swallows in the Morning

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

The water feels warm against the cool air. I take off my shirt and climb down the ladder into the murky lake. I feel the sensation of the air and water rise up my legs, my swim shorts, and my chest.

The water pushes away any last remnants of sleep from my body. I let go the ladder and slip under the water. My head comes up, water rolling over me as I wipe my eyes. I look across the lake and see a tree swallow, skimming the water, hunting for insects.

feathered blue bomber 
dipping low and fast 
reflections too slow

I practice my breast stroke and then my backstroke. I have a long way to go to master them. I see the tree swallow disappear into the dock, bringing food it caught to its nest. My head dips below the water again.

mother, father 
your life becomes mine 
empty nest

I climb up the ladder and onto the floating dock. I walk over to where I saw the bird disappear and listen intently. Soon I hear the faint peeping sound of chicks, hidden deep in the plastic dock. I see a swallow fly straight to the sounds, open its wings to slow down, and disappear in a small hole.


abandoned nest
spring sun casts shadows 
hidden bird sings

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