Shikhandin: To My Swimming Companion
Aghast at my sudden dive
you scoot to the other side. My warty
friend, you’re no hors d'oeuvre to me. That
is an entirely different category. Very tasty!
Never mind. Doesn’t the water sting?
How can you even bear it? Wait! I won’t hurt
you. Stop your paddling, your frantic chasing
of freedom in the night. Relax. That silent-winged
poacher cutting air like it is a plume of breath,
didn’t spot you. Wouldn’t dare snatch you
with me, your Neptune, beside you. The bats
are harmless, though. Poor things. They must be
awfully water deprived to want to scoop
up mouthfuls of this chlorinated drink!
Or are they addicted to the kick?
And you, my tender one? What made you plunge
in? When all your cousins, uncles and aunts
are gathering for the choir. Look! There
they are in the shrubs and grass
beneath the amassing clouds. Listen to their chants
echoing. Why don’t you join them? Lend a voice,
old chap, instead of this frantic merry-go-round
in my swimming pool. Staying ahead
by a whisker every time! Slow down. Slow down.
This is no milk pail. Your desperate feet won’t whip
up a buttery float to safety. My prince, tonight
is not for kissing, but for embracing
your saviour, my cupped hands.