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My father 

		was a strong, athletic man; 
		a high school wrestler and weight lifter, 
		as a young man 
		an accomplished professional dancer. 

		I have a very early memory
		of riding atop his back 
		as he swam the length 
		of our backyard pool. 

		Although terrified 
		at being surrounded by rushing water, 
		I was sure 
		his broad shoulders 
		would support and protect me.
		I had absolute faith in his body.
		It was an impenetrable barrier 
		and offered absolute protection.

		I was very young,
		probably not more 
		than three years old. 

		But this memory is vivid. 

		My arms 
		are wrapped around his neck, 
		I can smell his wet skin, 
		and I feel his muscles 
		moving beneath me 
		with every stroke. 

		My heart is in my throat 
		I am thrilled.
 This memory . . .