She was listening to Schubert by the sea
when she saved me.
I had been searching for seashells and haiku—
small things that are semi-precious.
There are many things men do and fail at doing.
Trying to love someone is like swimming.
One has to jump in and ignore the waves
of despair.
I was fortunate a lifeguard was on duty the day
I decided to be a writer.
She gave me music and called me Franz.
That was in another century.

Page 165


E. Ethelbert Miller

Ethelbert Miller is a writer and literary activist who has taught at various universities. He is the author of 12 books of poetry and two memoirs, as well as the editor of three poetic anthologies. He hosts a weekly morning radio show and hosts and produces a TV show. His many honors include induction into the 2015 Washington DC Hall of Fame, the 2016 Association of Writers & Writing Programs George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature, and the 2016 DC Mayor’s Arts Award for Literature. In 2018, he was appointed as an ambassador for the Authors Guild. Miller’s most recent book, If God Invented Baseball (2018), was awarded the 2019 Literary Award for poetry by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. He can be contacted at .

How to Cite This:

Miller, E. E. (2023). The lifeguard [poem]. Clio’s Psyche, 29(2), 165.

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