Swimming Lessons By David Hanlon

Swimming Lessons


They say I am ‘Gay’
taunt and bully me,
they think they know
the damage—
they don’t.
What is this word
I do not know?
I know more words than them
but this one is out of reach.

Still, the decision has been made.
It is me. It is bad. I am bad.

When I learn what ‘it’ is,
come to realise for myself that I am ‘it’,
I think how could they have known
this about me before I did?
Why am I this bad thing?
I try to hide it—
I can’t.


I was thrown
into the river
behind that schoolyard
and spent years swimming
against the current.


At last, I made it upstream—
a gay man
what they would say now,
if I told them how lucky I feel
that I became

a strong swimmer.

By David Hanlon


David Hanlon is from Cardiff, Wales. He has been writing poetry over the last two years, drawing mostly on his own life experiences. He is interested in the notion that a dialogue exists between writer & reader; that the writing process does not end with the writer but is ongoing with the reader; that every time a person reads a piece of work, they bring their own experiences & perspectives to it, thus finding & creating new meanings within the artistic creation: that each time a poem is read it is re-written by its reader.

Through his openness, he aims to, in some shape or form, create poems that are relatable & meaningful to readers; that facilitate in making this connection, this dialogue, with them. You can find his work online at Ink, Sweat & Tears, Fourth & Sycamore, Eunoia Review, Scarlet Leaf Review & Amaryllis.

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  1. Pingback: #FeatureFriday – David Hanlon – Ink In Thirds

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