Jimmy

It was gray, chilling to the bone,
with dry leaves getting tangled
in her hair.
Her thoughts were viscous-like;
she could actually hear them
sloshing in her head.

She stumbled, hesitated,
reaching for a tree trunk.
Suddenly there was
a commotion in the water,
just thirty yards out;
someone splashing, no,
struggling,
fighting for their life.

The woman cried out,
then sprinted for the edge
of the lake not bothering
to take off her heavy coat.

Spectators started to gather
(the path around the reservoir
was popular among joggers
and walkers), and it wasn’t
long before police and fire
rescue had arrived.

Later, at the hospital, the woman’s
daughter asked why she went
into the water.
“To save your brother. To save Jimmy!”
“Oh mom, Jimmy’s been gone for years.”

©2017 Steven Barto