Sunday Afternoon/Public Swim Time
by P G Forte
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Rated "G" by the Author.
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SUNDAY AFTERNOON/PUBLIC SWIM TIME
Boys at the pool crash through sparkling water, push each other under,
come up splutteringsplashing, water dripping from their long, long lashes. Teeth flashing giant smiles, they toss, or try to toss, each other
through the air. Then push each other under, once again.
Water is the perfect medium in which to play
adding grace and speed and power to their movements.
They immerse themselves entirely without ever losing sight
of who they are, or where the water ends and they begin.
Girls at the pool––at play––they bob and sway. They weave
their way through intricate dances, set to music only they can hear. They pause. Engage in conversation. Bask in mutual admiration.
Exchange encoded messages bubbled in each other’s ears.
They float. They leap and dive. They look like large enchanted flowers,
like rainbow painted porpoises at play.
In this turquoise–colored, sunscreen–scented, chlorinated otherworld
they are set free.
Now the boys: a roiling, rollicking mass, lurch through the pool
like a piston driven steam engine gone wild
arms and legs churn the water, waves erupt around them
pushing everything out of their path.
Girls scatter like a flock of birds.
some––bursting into tears––emit small, wounded cries;
some shrieking in mock terror while joy sparkles in their eyes,
frowns crease the flower faces: They dare not approve such rude behavior.
They’re still too young to be enchanted by the boys’ antics.
The boys, too young to seek to charm them,
or to long to be entangled in the floating coils of their hair.
Indifferent to the differences that link them.
Their lives as magnets have not yet begun.
For now, the boys recede.
The girls resume their labyrinth patterns.
Water ebbs and swells and ripples all around.
On the dancing waves,
time has cast a silver net
to enmesh them all.
Welcome to Historic Oberon, California