The Moment of Quiet Before The Race

The river, just outside the high school, was still not clean.
Not after all these years.
It roared and was cold and silver, but not clean at all.
It only looked like home.
It still soothes me, something like my mother’s voice,
my lost mother, lost to the arsenic and the greed of man,
that died so I may escape, walk on two feet, safe.
I can’t remember my mother’s voice, only feel it.
In the dead of night, when I am all alone, I can be me,
mermaid and water spirit, floating in the man made pool,
looking up through the glass ceiling at the soft and distant stars,
even as the chlorine burns my skin, makes it pale and flaky.
I am a natural in the water, a child of Neptune and free, so free.
Even in the harsh water I feel free, even using human legs to swim,
I am free and almost home and where I want to be.
I pretend I love the crowd back. I pretend to bask in their cheers.
Mother gone, and I among the humans, who wrecked home for me,
caused my mother to be lost in what was hers and should not have
been taken, would should have been sacred. They should have cared.
Cared about the world they ravage for pieces of paper and shiny metal.
The river roars and I am clear in my mind, before the swim meet,
before my only peace and comfort, something more than the cramped
bathtub I have in the home a live in, with a sympathetic human,
where I can at least have my tale out, they I am trapped, with nowhere to go.
The meet is about to began, and I get up, and walk up the hell, the cool air
turning hot in my lungs, and my heart racing from stress if not exertion.
The quiet is fading, and these noisy bastards will soon cancel out all the peace,
but that is yet to come, and it is still a cool spring morning, and I am alone with quiet.

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