I sit submerged at the bottom with my eyes closed.
The drone of the pool presses on my ears,
The water muffles children yammering above.

I’m alone on a busy summer day.
The air is bright and warm, the ground is hot.
The sky stretches blue and smooth above.

When I resurface the day greets me with a roar.
Kids splash around me. Only my eyes move
as I stand against the edge, hair dripping.

I’m not sure I’ll see a slow summer like this again.
I’ve finished playing and growing, and now
It’s time for the rest of my life.

I think about the two decades behind me,
And then the six or so ahead.
I can almost count them on one hand.

I plunge down into the water again.
This air here a few feet below is thick and slow,
Darker, cooler, quieter.

Little puddles round the pool lay drying in the sun
While the sea’s colossal depths swallow sunlight
And warmth with appetite unyielding.

I sit submerged, head in hands,
Vastness pushing on my eyes and ears.
With every second here, my time grows scarcer.

This is not my world. My world is a little necklace,
A string of moments precious tiny and few
That I will bead and cherish til it’s buried with me.

I resurface again, this time embracing the greeting.
I breathe in the warm air and push myself out onto the hot cement.

A third version of a poem I wrote almost five years ago. In this version I clean up and reshuffle some ideas near the climax.