Pool Ashes

There were ashes in the pool water this morning–
from a town [almost] burning down,
and a mountain [really] burning to the ground.

The mountain is smoldering–
no longer angry, but still at least a little mad,
I try not to stare as I adjust my goggles.
Failure.

The lady the next lane over is *serious* about her laps.
I see her checking my progress behind her,
making sure I never catch her–
I’m not trying.

Swimming slowly,
waking up,
trying to catch ash in my fingers
between
breaths.

Serious swimmer checks her time,
my goggles are too tight
and I’m getting a headache.

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