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Leslie Kandell's Tanglewood notes
by Leslie Kandell

Tanglewood notes

A Daily Gazette arts blog
Leslie Kandell covers music in the Berkshires

"Old Woman's Routine" -- A swimming poem

"Old Woman's Routine"

Cats continue to do their cat jobs,
No matter how near they are
To the end of their days.

Since my daughter died,
I too continue my routines.

Because it is summer,
I drive to the lake at the end of the day,
And start by swimming out to the middle.

The boaters -- with their noisy motors or long fishing lines --
Have gone home, and the water is quiet.
Across the lake the trees are already black
And clouds wrap the shoulders of the mountain
Like an old woman's shawl.

Some folks say I shouldn't swim alone,
They say it's dangerous to swim alone.
But I don't think there are any monsters out there.
Cancer is more dangerous, I think.

I swim past the first dock, and then the others,
The water laps softly at my face, doing its job,
Washing away the tears.

I swim on,
because my job is to follow the sparkling golden path
Toward the setting sun.

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