You are teaching your daughter to swim

 

in open waters

though you don’t know the depth

of the lake at its centre; who might have died there,

whether the pike will scare her or bite her,

if the current will pull her down.

 

At the level of water, the mountains are higher.

The cold is a world she will walk to and enter

where deep mud is softer than skin.

Let the pebbles swim under her feet!

All the darkness beneath her

 

is answered by birds

and the trees will be tall and kind.

The sun will light up the water above her.

When there’s no ground left to stand on,

then she’ll fly.

 

Though the cold makes her teeth ache

she can take it. The rain cannot soak her,

the swan will not harm her.  No dead man

will reach out his hand. You will watch her

leaving the shore behind

 

and the current will flow

the right way. That day,

the water will hold her

and take her far from you.

Now let her go from you. Let go.