Poem of the Day


On Your Marks


I’ve turned into jelly.

I don’t have the strength.

My stomach is stuck in my throat.

Why did I say I could swim a whole length?

I don’t even know how to float.

My goggles are loose,

should have tightened the strap.

What if they happen to leak?

And what if my bathers just suddenly snap?

I’ll be laughed at the rest of the week.

What if I don’t make the end of the race?

What if I give up all hope?

I’ll never be able to lift up my face

if I have to hold onto the rope.

My stomach is churning,

I’m still feeling bad,

I’m freezing… and there goes the gun!

I’m kicking,

I’m splashing,

I’m swimming like mad.

Will I make it?

I have!

And I’ve won!


Jenny Erlanger

First published in “Giggles and Niggles” (Haddington Press, 2007)

  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #13

Jenny said: I was always a very nervous competitor in school swimming sports and dreaded the sound of the starting pistol.