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Friday, 13 January 2012

Wet Sundays

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I haven't posted a poem for a while, so here's one for the weekend. When my kids were younger, we used to spend a lot of time at the swimming pool!

Rainways by Jan Jones

Hurrying along the rainways
Mums with bags and children shouting in front
Passing posers from the squash courts pretending it’s dry
Kids in threes, rolled towels
Oldest one hand tight on money

Then

Inching delicious, past grave babies slowly rotating
Plunging silk ripples, sea-person hair
Lightflight fantastic
Oiled limbs
Untrammelled
Blue laughter, blue laughter, blue laughter

Children scramble free
Restless to do everything
Pirate slide, bubble seats, giant floats
Warm water, cold water, blue flume, black flume

Detached on the side, half-smiling
Girls whose swimsuits never get wet
Ankles dangling

And in the middle, Sunday fathers
Centred on their vanished world
Buying love, attention, anything on the menu
Desperate for a fleeting touch, hauling minutes out to hours
Fixing this pain in their memory
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7 comments:

J. Fishler said...

Looking out on a winter wonderland here in the so-called sunny South, reading your poem - then reading it again. And the snowy landscape disappears...I'm seeing your poem...I'm at the pool again with my little ones (Echo Valley, to be precise).
xxx
Jen
'...the morning sun is shining like a red rubber ball' (they always played that song). :)

Jan Jones said...

You have snow, Jen? Brrr.

Seriously, those memories don't ever go away, do they? One whiff of chlorine and we are back there.

J. Fishler said...

We have ice, with snow on top. Frigid temps. Beautiful, if one does not have to go out in it - which, thank God, I do not.
And, yes, one whiff of chlorine and I'm back.
Remember those wet little bodies, how cold those little shoulders sometimes felt? And the guilt when lips turned blue? And 'just 5 more minutes, Mom', please, please, please?'
Love the poem. :)
xxx
Jen

Judy Astley said...

Oh Jan - your poems are so beautiful and OUCH xxx

Jan Jones said...

Sorry for the ouch, Judy. Comes from being an observer.

J. Fishler said...

The 'ouch' lends reality. Nothing is perfect, not even our memories of yesteryear. There were those moments of quiet introspection, impressions garnered, eyes averted, prayers offered, sighs of thankfulness breathed, there but for the grace of God...
You, Jan, are brilliant at tapping into all of it.
And I know I am jabbering away re this post...but this poem so touched me.
xxx

Jan Jones said...

Thanks, Jen. I've come over all unnecessary now :)