They’re still wading in the shallow end, 

where depth is scant but wide-eyed youth prevails.

Waiting for grown-up teeth to come; “we’ve got time,” they think.

Splashing up soggy ideas ’til the fun drains out from underneath.


Some graduate to inner tubes,

floating on their successes, their friends, their truest loves.

Now, they are stable, ever relaxed in their lazy rivers,

neglecting that just yesterday, someone’s tube popped,

and theirs could––no, will––too.


It’s those, only those

who’ve sunk to the bottom,

pushed by the relentless pressure,

that will climb up the steps one by one.

Dripping with sweaty aqua-fluid,

knowing that if there’s an answer, it’s this.

They run ahead, ignoring any knee-jerk reactions.

Closed eyes, plugged nose,

they saturate themselves with this newness.

One big red lever pulls and––SHOOT!

they’re gone.


By Andrew Silagi

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