How to Tread Water
You must remember always
That water is stronger.
But if you are capable of asking,
It will bear your lightness up.
Do not waste time convincing yourself
That water is your friend.
It has no desire for friendship.
For it already knows
All the secrets flowing through you
And into the space of others,
Spreading into chasms
That you will never see.
Nor tell yourself that water is your enemy.
In taking your secrets, it trades you life,
And it has no choice but to withdraw.
For water must leave when it is time
To flow through other births that call it.
Know instead that you are both
Its host and its guest
And you may not strike it
Or thrash about in frustration
When its responses fail you.
Be polite. Water will be kind.
Be kind, and it will be gentle.
Gentle, and it will become
A listing tiger upon which you may ride.