If – a poem by Mary Kipps

If I hadn’t woken up at 2 AM, worried
about my aging mother’s care,
if I hadn’t gotten up and headed
out to the hot tub, coffee in hand,
to weigh the tasks that lay ahead,
if the night hadn’t been so heavy with heat
that a swim in the pool 
seemed in order,
if I hadn’t walked to the pool steps 
but dived in, 
if there hadn’t been a gibbous moon
shining on the shallow end, and
if the air hadn’t been so still, 
I might not have noticed
something moving in the water.
And I wouldn’t have run for the pool net,
dipped it under the wild thing
paddling with the last of its strength,
scooped it up and ferried it
to the corner of the yard
that backs to woods,
laid down the net, and stepped away
so as not to add to the fright
of the black and white creature
who still has some purpose
to fulfill in this world.

Mary Kipps is a US writer whose poetry has appeared in literary journals and anthologies around the world since 2005. She is also the author of three Kindle eBooks: All in VeinA Sucker for Heels, and Bitten: A Practical Guide to Dating a Vampire.

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