The Alcatraz Swim An essay by Janice Strootman
“Three, two, one, jump!” yelled the boatswain. The ferry was bouncing wildly, the engines were off, and we were turning green. The Coast Guard delayed the event twice due to bad weather. I had a red helium balloon tied to my goggles, and two swim caps fastened to my head—both to help spot me among the other 500 swimmers in the bay.
Coach Mike said, “Remember to swim fast to the front of the ferry to avoid other jumpers. Y
Stones on the Path I focus on stones as I stroll along Some look fragile and others strong How would they feel if they became real? One heavy to hold, life’s trials weigh it down Another is square, bound fast to the ground This one’s sharp corners can tear open skin deeply wounding friends and kin One thin and well-worn, life sad and forlorn Another dark grey, shadowed by thorns A rock alone, no mother or father choosing to be away from the others Smallish rocks huddle under