Luci Huhn: Watching a Video of a Man Swimming Under Ice

He swims the stroke I would use,
both arms, both legs, flat and frog-like, 
symmetry of the body in motion. I watch
in full-blown muscle memory as he
stalls a second, propels forward, stalls,
propels forward. 
                                He’s looking
for the opening where he went in,
circling like an otter after a fish.
Or, he’s killing time, counting to himself,
trying to break a record. But with
every turn, eyes darting, searching,
it looks more and more like
                           Someone throws
a coat down on the ice, a yellow coat,
and another, red, a neon warning arrow of coats
leading him to where he first went under.
A dog runs into the picture, probably there
all the time, out of frame. I can’t hear
a soundtrack, but the dog makes
the motion of barking, frantically
sending the man a message,
over here, over here.
                                      It reminds me
of a meditation I sometimes do, where
I’m to picture a calming, waveless plane,
half in, half out, waist deep in water.
Just a glimpse of it, the instructor says,
under water, above water. It’s an over-
simplification, I’m sure, perhaps the very
point of meditation, but I picture
a lake like this, colder than I can stand,
going on a long way.
                                       The man bobs up
into a little ice-cleared pool, into the place
where gently rocking waves lured him in.
He stands knee deep, shakes wildly
like a child out of a bath gone cold.
Then the film loops back to the beginning
and we swim again.