Thursday, November 17, 2022

Snorkeling in the Caribbean

November Poem Day #17

La Isla Saona near Bayahibe

Snorkeling in the Caribbean

The water is cold in eastern Idaho—
the lakes, creeks, and rivers.
So cold you shiver,
the moment you step in
even in the summer.

The water comes cold
from high mountain snows
and glaciers, flows downstream,
still cold, still frigid, ice-like.

I thought all water was like that
until we went to the Caribbean,
the Dominican Republic,
Bayahibe and La Isla Saona,
any beach there.

I had heard stories
of the lukewarm water
of the Caribbean and wondered
if it were true.

My first time at the edge
of the sand where the ocean began,
I hesitated, the past years
of frigid cold still in my mind,
making me shiver
in the hot, humid air.

Then, I strode out into the water,
my mind, surprised, propelled me
forward, clamoring for more,
farther and farther out
until I was chest-high.


I donned my snorkel
with prescription lenses
and eased beneath the water,
anticipating the shock of cold.

But it didn’t come, never came.

Adjusting my breathing,
I looked around.

Fish of all colors, kinds,
and sizes darted in
and around me,
swimming close
into my line of vision.

I just lay there forever,
it seemed, moving ever so gently,
basking in the oh, so warm water,
forgetting about eastern Idaho,
the cold water, the deep freezes,
chipping ice, sub-below weather,
and the constant cold snow.

The Caribbean oozes
through my being
with its warmth
and turquoise water,
so balmy,
so inviting,
so sauna-like.

November 17, 2022

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