Girls Outgrow Their Strength

Photo credit: beglib from
Every day she swims.
At first her limbs hurt,
then they become easy.
She thinks about nothing much
as she swims up and down,
following her shadow, a wisp of shark
in a fogged corridor of tile.
She forces herself to a marathon effort
and cleaves the way to Patagonia and back,
the surge and bubble of her breath
the only sound in the dumb water,
Silly with chlorine ambition,
she wants a vegemite sandwich and milk.
She goes home and contemplates the fact
that when she is alone
she walks with a shuffle
and holds her elbow
tight against her body.

~ Kate Jennings  

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