I went sailing once when I was a girl
barely big enough for a life jacket.
I remember the sun sparking the water,
the strong, tan legs of my father,
the sleek, white lines of the boat.
I don't remember the capsize at all.
Not the fill of lake water in my nose.
Not the crack of my skull against the hull.
Not even the screaming scrambling search for my mother
trapped in the ropes below.
Years later, mama told me that her only thought
as the water took her air
was that her daughter was up there
watching her drown.
But memory is a funny thing I've found.
All I remember is sun on the water,
a sleek, white boat,
and I know that I've been sailing once
and that once is all I've cared to go.
For Gillena's prompt at Real Toads