I Swim So I Don’t Dwell In Hell (A Poem Inspired By Tank Top Slogans)

by SwimSwam Contributors 2

April 18th, 2022 Lifestyle

“I swim so I don’t choke people”

“I swim so I don’t punch people in the face”

—- Slogans on tank tops available on Amazon

I Swim So I Don’t Dwell in Hell 

Courtesy: Michael Zahn

I swim so you remain alive.

Right now, I’d like to kill you.

The water boils from my rage,

takes my kicks, takes my slaps,

gets a thrashing in each lap.

I might do something awful,

a crime that I’d abhor,

if I dragged all this anger

back with me to shore.

I give the water all I’ve got,

then whip myself some more.

My mission is exhaustion,

to make my muscles sore,

to ensure extinction

of what might lead to gore.

When I’m past the point of pain,

my fury drained,

my soul regained,

I’m ready for dry land again.

I climb out of the water

grateful I’ve found peace,

a house where we will heal, not fight –

a home where we can

sleep at night.


Michael Zahn, a former Milwaukee newspaper reporter, lives in Poinciana in Central Florida. Born in 1947, he is an unaffiliated member of US Masters Swimming. His poems have been published in numerous swimming media, both print and electronic. This is the first publication of “I Swim So I Don’t Dwell in Hell.”

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Susan Zahn
2 months ago

A masterpiece!

2 months ago

The “No Fear” gear i needed in 1995!