From swimming for ages in moonlit water, 
I tire and cling to a flooded house: 
my fingers slip from those smooth walls, 
         so clean, so white, so bare. 

If only there were a stair to climb 
or a rope downhanging to my hand! 
I struggle sorely in a falling tide, 
         in fear to choke and drown: 

for I cannot hold my motherís skirts 
nor hope to reach above her knee, 
nor rise above her ankle-bones, 
         nor the level of the sea.