Lunchtime at the Pool in August

From Writing Notebook 2021, published in 2022.

Lunchtime at the Pool in August

sitting on the edge of the pool
legs dangling in the water
wearing a white one-piece bathing suit
with a ketchup stain down the front
the fries you just finished eating
hot and salty straight from the fryer
a friend of your older sister
working the concession stand and
Connections count:
an extra-full container and
a whole lot of ketchup. Now
you have a few minutes to let it settle
You know how long you need by how
your bathing suit is damp only in the seat
and the skin on your shoulders
goes stretched tight and smooth in the sun
Rest break over in five minutes
that will be long enough.

you wait
the concrete lip of the pool
rough on the thin skin back of your knees
you kick your legs a little and
raise that smell of chlorine
mixed with sun lotion and grease
The lifeguard raises the whistle to her lips.


7 thoughts on “Lunchtime at the Pool in August

    • Thank you. I think that is a big compliment that it gives you vicarious feelings of memory! I think the memories of those times go very deep with me, I think I just soaked them in or was very open to the world in that time and place.

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