Pip waded with Tuck as far as she could reach,
But she could not follow him onto the beach.
Pip stood on her tiptoes, trying to follow,
But she gasped for air, and choked as she swallowed.
Pip saw him standing over there, he touched her and he smiled.
She tried to float away with Tuck, yet she was but a child.
Tuck left her, treading water there, she stayed behind and simply stared.
Tuck slipped too far away from her. Unknowingly, Pip was spared.
When Tuck left, the Clan wept. They hugged Pip close.
Pip gasped for air underwater, holding them up, almost.
Pip had to support the Clan, it was her responsibility,
She might even have been able to, had she gained her own stability.
The Clan comforted Pip, as they expected her to pout.
They told her it’s okay to cry, and to let her emotions out.
But she was trying to let them out. There was nothing, not a tear.
Nothingness. Only deafening silence. Pip’s greatest fear.
It rushed in like a fiery rip current, yet it filled her with nothing.
The emptiness was excruciating. It took away her Something.
Pip looked all over, around, and through,
But her Something left with Tuck, so she would have to make do.
Pip kept swimming everyday, holding her breath cautiously.
The Clan was able to breathe, because Pip held them up dauntlessly.
Sometimes she wondered if it was worth it, why she even bothered.
Should she let go of that last chest full of oxygen, let go of all her honor.
No one thought she really would, they believed Pip to be patient.
The Clan admired Pip, they relied on her dedication.
They never thought she would let go of her last breath when she was on the brink.
Pip wanted to, but she didn’t. She could never let Her Clan sink.
I can do this, I can do this, Pip kept screaming in her head.
But that never really stuck or clicked, until Tuck saw the end.
You are smart and strong and brave and bold, Pip could hear Tuck say it now.
Pip knew not what would unfold, but she would get through it somehow.
The Clan must stay here, in the water, Slowly drowning, suffocating.
They wished Tuck was still with them, his memory never fading.
Tuck learned how to swim, he swam straight through the cyclone.
He wanted to teach Pip to swim, but she had to learn on her own.
How was Pip to swim back to shore? This was why Tuck went first.
Tuck suffered the dangers. He toiled the waves, currents, and the surf.
The path had been carved.
Pip tried to swim but the current was too strong.
If she swam away, she would have to let Her Clan sink.
Maybe if she had let out her breath, someone would have rescued her.
Maybe she would be brought to the warm, sandy, beaches.
Maybe if Pip just let out her final breath.
But Pip hadn’t forgotten about her Something.
She couldn’t let her lungs relax.
Her breath was not her own to keep.
For it belonged to the Clan.
She ached, she hurt, she was in pain.
And she still felt nothingness.
She stretched her hand out to Tuck, where she could almost find her Something.
Pip struggled and stretched a little farther.
Tuck reached out and met Pip’s hand with his. Pip grabbed onto Her Clan, because The Clan Sticks Together.
Her face broke the surface, feeling the salty air for the first time in months.
In, out, in, out, it was an irregular motion for Pip. She had felt it before only once.
Pip glanced at Tuck and grinned, He smiled back at her and nodded.
She absorbed the forgiving sun, and found the drifting clouds hypnotic.
Breathing in the fresh, rich air made Pip feel good and strong.
But Tuck didn’t give back her Something, for Pip had it all along.