19 July 2012

summer at the city pool {a poem}

Under a cloudless July sky
a flat, faded blue that holds no possibility for dreams
a sterile slate that pushes us down,
pinning us to one place on this dry earth

under an overdone sun
a little boy stands at the edge of the high dive at the City Pool.

From up there—

high on the diving board,
his bright orange swimtrunks dripping
the hundreds of feet (it must be that far!)
down to the aqua, manmade oasis

from up there, he can see the possibility for fun.

Over there,
the World War I tank by the playground,
guarding the monkey bars.

And past the Little League fields,
the path that slides down the river bluff—
a route made when the Indians still called this place Shoquoquon.

Beyond that,
the fountain that lights up blue, green, and yellow,
dancing along with the Municipal Band
playing “Stars and Stripes Forever,”
strains of high-note patriotism floating out over the Mississippi.

From up there, high on the diving board,
all the little boy has to do is spread his arms to touch
all the possibilities under the sun

and then jump
flying above all he’s ever known
wishing for the first time
that he could stop time
and stay in this eternal summer of the sun.

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