When I Swam for the Dolphins

    “When I Swam for the Dolphins,” New Era, Aug. 1991, 20

    When I Swam for the Dolphins

    My mom could sleep all night

    without waking

    except when my ear

    ached hard and hurt so

    that I became a nightmare

    to my brothers,

    with a water-logged ear.

    She stood up and made medicine,

    while I lay down,

    my head aching side up.

    Bending she poured liquid drops

    into my eardrum.

    I waited for a pop

    and the wet to dry

    and it was over.

    What she whispered was softer

    than eardrops and better than a dream.

    Photograph by Chad Lewis Mosher

    Art by Clayton F. Merrell

    Art by Marcia Williams