The shallow end

I remember when I was five.
I didn’t know how to swim. Or want to learn.
“What if you fall in the water?” they’d ask.
“I drown,” I’d say. “And deserve it for going near water.”
At camp, they had races at the pool.
I won the running across the shallow end race every year.
It became an annual joke. And I laughed the loudest.
The water was only up to my knees.
In my final year, I tripped over one toddler, and hit my head.
Falling, my lungs full of water, resting on the bottom of the goddamned pool.

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