This spring, I took a writing class offered through Write Around Portland. It was called “Prompt” because each week we would meet and write for a limited amount of time–usually somewhere between 2-8 minutes–to a number of different prompts. As the school year grinds to a start and I have less time to write, I will be featuring excerpts from my writing class in lieu of the weekly essay.
She sits on the lip of the pool, her legs dangling in the tepid water. Her hair is pulled back and summarily shoved under a swim cap and the vinyl pulls her forehead back, nearly lifting her eyebrows. She stretches her arms above her head, arching her back, then drops them and rolls her neck a few times. She trails her hands in the water, waiting to shift a bit.
Swimming is always hardest at the water’s edge. Once she has submerged her body, it’s a matter of moving her limbs, breathing rhythmically–things she’s done a thousand times before. But while on land, swimming seems incredibly hard. Years ago, she solved this problem by diving in, but times have changed and the pool rules don’t allow it. Too much liability. So now she sits on the precipice, still a land mammal and not yet an aquatic one.