for my mother, Joan
Surfers have a word
for those select few whose ambidexterity
lets them lead with either foot,
always facing their aqueous dance partner.
We call it “switchfoot”
and this defiance of dominance is revered.
Some surfers practise for years,
enduring endless wipeouts to master that moment
when the switch becomes effortless,
a Zen scissored glide as smooth
as the wave they are now facing.
Mother, do you remember that moment
when we switched feet?
Now the child leads the parent towards
that white maelstrom that awaits us all
at the end of our ride.