The Human Contract

All morning I’d practiced—
           hair tucked in a cap,
my tank suit sagging—

six years old in the deep end.
           Toes gripping a curved edge
of rough cement, heels hovering

over water, palms pressed
           against my thighs, eyes closed,
leaping far from the lip

of the pool. Over and over,
           I jumped backwards, swam to the side
and pulled my body up the silver steps.

Perfected, I called to a circle of moms
           in sunglasses, Look!
I remember the white towel blurred

with blood, her next to me
           as a doctor stitched my chin,
stopping for a box of fudge

on the way home—
           always seeking the right distance
from the sun.

Photography © Ira Joel Haber

Photography © Ira Joel Haber


Sarah Dickenson Snyder has been an English teacher for many years, a mother for several, and student and participant in poetry workshops, classes, and writing conferences. She was lucky to be a part of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and to have had several poems published in magazines, journals, and book anthologies like Comstock Review, Bloodroot Literary Magazine, West Trade Review, The Main Street Rag, Zeugma Magazine, and Mothers Always Write. Recently two poems received awards from The Poetry Society of Vermont.

Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, writer, book dealer,photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows bothin the USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum,The Albright-Knox Art Gallery & The Allen Memorial Art Museum. Since 2006 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 230 on line and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Pollock-Krasner grants, the Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grant and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists’ Fellowship Inc. He currently teaches art to retired public school teachers at The United Federation of Teachers program in Brooklyn.