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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nightswimming

"How would you describe the moon?" she asked, head cocked to the right, eyeing the stars. 

"A penny?" said her daughter, who was skipping stones that fell straight to the bottom of the lake.

The mother slipped off her sandals. "Let's go for a moonlit swim!" she cried.

"What about the moon?" said the daughter.

"Ah," said the mother. "But what is the moon?"

"A very lonely place," said the daughter.

"It is illumination, magic, inspiration!" said the mother. "The artist's confidante!"

"No," said the daughter. "A man lives there, and he's always crying."


The mother jumped into the lake. Her head, coming up for air, was silver with the water and the streaming moonlight.

"Where are you going?" asked the daughter.

"A moonlit swim!"

"To where?" asked the daughter.

"Do you see this path?" called the mother, slapping at the trembling light on the surface of the lake. "This is the path to the moon. A magic ship sails on this path. Let's follow it!" And she began to swim away.

"Don't leave me!" said the daughter. "I hate the cold water!"

"The moon warms it," said the mother. Her lips were very blue and she was smiling.

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