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Swimmers: Seen from the Opposite Bank of the Mattole 

No longer willowy, taut and bronzed,
perhaps faintly recalling their golden youth,
they are pale fleshed;
their yellowed skin contrasts
with the scintillant, deep green river.

They are round, dimpled at the shoulders,
their arms are soft, bellies contentedly filled out,
thighs widened by sitting and work.

They sought this broad and shadowy pool.
Broad-leafed vines draping the bank behind them
reveal they have found their sacred place.
They wade into the living water;
hard stones press tender old soles.
Undeterred, they dive in, swim.

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Aline Faben

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