This was the first time I'd seen you, I was maybe ten years old. You took off those hand knit mitts, revealing hands, waxy sheen from the cold. There's not a scrap of leather in your elaborate outfit, and I can see from the state of your skin that the thought of meat makes you sick. It looks like you've been around longer than your age shows, with the way you sat down around everyone like they were people you already know. Your scarf unwound around your face so slow, the flecks of snow melting around your mouth and nose, so you laugh. Because you feel that shift of energy. From resting on your face to running down it without losing anything. That energy was contagious. The way you drew together water and your heart like a mother and father meant to be together since the start of their lives. Your watery heart flowing around like husbands and wives exhale a silent confidence. That life is alright and love exists despite the evidence. You wiped the water from your face, and kicked the snow off your boots. Diamond shaped clumps of ice falling from the soles and the grooves. Next came off your hat, and I was pleasantly surprised that any small piece of cloth could ever hold that untamedness inside. Again you just laugh, regardless of surroundings, and you pat it down. Something struck you suddenly, and for the first time, you frown. Not in negativity, but curiosity as you turn around. You could feel me staring, we locked eyes, and I looked down. Pretending for that instant our eyes never met, like that feeling of scaring away a deer carelessly, I felt regret. But you weren't timid like a faun, or frightened like a cat, or prepared to be embarrassed with reactions like oats scattered, no. You were the bird who looks down in confidence. Perceptive enough to know no human hand could reach you up on your branch. But you were a ground level limb. With leaves and aged bark as an excuse for skin. No pleasantries of social procedures expected. You sit with love and refuse to neglect the neglected. Your low lying bowers just the right height for children's grasp so they can climb to the bird's nest and see the sunset at last. You elevate people. So they can love the world within. You're like a brass looking glass that someone painted in the picture. And yet you sit here. You don't waste words on speeches or books so people can preach and look about you. Hold you up and adore you, no. You're like a shoe in the door of twenty first century mannerisms. A quiet bacteria around the organisms that no one expected to eat the other bugs in the dish. To protect with love and wish that the world feels the same. And even though it won't mean a thing, I feel the same as you. I was changed by you. Your earthy tones and dried out hair. I stared. Like a child does at an ascending balloon. Like the moths try to come close to the moon. But I'm not carried by jet streams. No frail wings necessitate ascension. There's no tension in your pose. I wish I could let that much go. Your laugh was poetry in prose, and you rose. Walked right up to me in my baseball jacket. You held out a card, your expression said, 'Take it.' And on that page were words worth reading. You walked away a miracle to me, and left my heart searing.
Lyrics submitted by NewOrleansSwimTeam