Cold water for the swimmers.
Credit to those, unlike you,
who stay in for at least five minutes.
Credit to those willing to shout
“you don’t notice after a while,”
shivering, regretting, but not giving in.
No credit to the old fishermen
who didn’t learn and flopped around,
although they had their reasons.
Or rather, one: too chilly.
Numb. But we mustn’t complain.
If the Atlantic gave a hug,
thousands would be here,
spread out like lug worm casts,
slumped and heapy on the sand —
instead of only us, naked,
and that lingering Dutch twitcher
looking on from a distance.