When I was young in the 1960’s we belonged to a golf club; my dad’s job provided a membership to allow him to entertain customers, and our family benefited from the amenities we could not have otherwise afforded. For me the pool was a lot of fun and it’s how I got my start as a competitive swimmer. I also worked at this same pool in college as a lifeguard/swim coach. All those years in this environment gave me a lot of time to observe the interactions of the people who came to the club, their society, their relationships, their activities. I still think about it quite often; it’s maybe an odd place to credit with having a lot of influence on me, but it did, and I continue to get new perspectives as I get older.
Anyway, this is the last swimming pool poem of 2021, I feel pretty sure. Summer is really over now!
When I Was Young
Dad in his dark suit and white shirt blue tie
parks the sedan in the lot full of station wagons.
Mom’s station wagon is in the second row
windows rolled down. It’s hot today.
Dad goes to work.
Mom takes the kids to the pool.
It’s for him to entertain the customers
Lunch in the clubhouse. That’s why he’s here.
It’s for her to feed the kids
Lunch at the concession stand.
That’s why she’s here.
Dad walks to the chain link fence
the hard leather soles of his polished shoes
clap clap heel toe heel toe across the asphalt.
Mom sits in a lounge chair
inside the pool enclosure
soft in the bright colors of
her modest style bathing suit
Behind her sunglasses
who knows where her eyes are looking
she keeps her thoughts to herself.
Mom sees Dad and waves.
Her red lipstick is fresh.
Her smile starts falters strengthens steadies.
He can see it all right. He waves back at her.
There is a very small rabbit I’ve seen outside my window, many times this summer. This is his first year of life and every time he appears, I am happy, and I hope he survives all the things that can go wrong for such a small creature.
One of Those Days
one of those days
the hawk snatches up the tiny rabbit
right off the lawn
the rabbit still chewing on his last bite of grass
one of those days
the tiny rabbit rolls over and over
in the dirt beside the porch
alive in contentment
with his dust bath
out of view of the hawk
7 thoughts on “A few new: When I Was Young; One of Those Days”
Sorry pool poem season is drawing to a close for you, Claudia. Yay on the baby rabbit enjoying safe playtime. I rarely see baby rabbits in the yard and very few adult rabbits. I know coyotes frequent the back woods and think between them and the hawks they get most of them.
This rabbit was so small at the beginning of the summer and I really thought he’d never see the fall – we have hawks and foxes and not many rabbits, as a result. But so far so good, crossing fingers.
You bring the scene so completely to mind. I enjoyed your poem.
I like the way your pool poem pivots back and forth between the person there to work and the people there for leisure. The contrast makes both states of being more emphatic.
I hope your wee rabbit makes it. We have a red tailed hawk nesting in our backyard and I have seen him swoop down to grab rabbits and squirrels. The rabbits no longer reside on our property but the squirrels remain.
Thank you. Society changed over the years I spent a lot of time at the pool in the summer. People’s roles both evolved and stayed the same even into today. I wonder what changes are in the making now. As for the rabbit every time I see him I hope he will survive. Life is hard for them in our area all right.
You are so good at imagery – I feel like I am there seeing it in person when I read your poems!
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