Friday, March 14, 2008

Pool Party

It was one of the nicest days all summer

Kids came from around the
block and spied between
fence posts
at the pool where
we lapped at the sun and
splashed tan-magnifying droplets
on each other

But today we dipped inside while
my niece and her three friends
swam the shallow end.

Today we smoked joints upstairs and
laughed at nothing

Something wasn’t right.
I kept switching rooms, pacing
from marijuana hit to window watching.
There was a terrible nag at the base of my skull
Something wasn’t right.

And then I saw it.

Pounded down the stairs,
nearly broke the door down
in fury
This boy
this preteen boy sunk to the bottom
kicked off as hard as his legs would
let him, almost but not quite
broke the surface, sunk again
His arms didn’t know hot to help him rise
He merely bounced furious, futile

I could only stare frozen, my legs
didn’t move my feet rooted in concrete
sidewalk until he opened his eyes.
Panic. Utter fucking panic in those browns

Suddenly I was in the water
(Fully clothed and accessorized)
Grabbed him by the waist
adrenaline pulled him above my head
In nanoseconds. I walked him to the other end
sat with him while the shock faded from his eyes.

My only words aloud: “Anyone else wanna swim in the deep end?”
“No,” was the resounding chorus.

keys wallet money cigarettes phone
came out of pockets, after heaving myself
up and out, while the children
recovered from the near-fatal drama
I laid my belongings to dry on my bed
And sat outside to wait and
Explode at my sister, the real lifeguard on duty.

It turned to only explanation
When she finally stepped outside

“My phone is dead,” I related.

I don’t talk about it, not with anyone.
It’s something I chalk up to
timing, luck,
a brief attack of
divine Spidey-sense.
Definitely not something to mention at the dinner table,
much less in front of my family
It’s embarrassing.
I mean really, who would admire that if they knew the truth?

Whoever said life isn’t metaphorical
is a goddamned liar.
Creative Commons License
Pool Party by Michael W. Hyde is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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