Saturday in the Pool by Leontia Flynn

LeontiaFlynnBio2

Saturday in the Pool

 

The boy pauses at the end of the diving-board

then dives: a broad sword

cleaving the water – there is parting! And rejoining!

This is reflected back upon the ceiling

where, flippered, supine

– swimming in the cells

and water-pathways of ourselves –

we watch the gases breed: a fog of chlorine.

 

The boy pauses at the end of the diving-board

then dives: on board

the liberator, big-eyed airmen watch

as the cargo leaves the hatch:

the missile stabs the air

then impacts – megavolts

and gigawatts, primodial lightning bolts –

in whirlpool ripples: clouds of dust and vapour.

 

Saturday at the pool. A dozen forms

push. Kick. Breathe. Push. Kick. Breathe. Turn

and bring themselves along the tepid length

and breadth of the translucent element

like frogmen. Bone

and blood. Four dozen limbs

– nurses, teachers, wives, civilians

push. Kick. Breathe. Push. Kick. Breathe. Turn.

 

Outside our youth is laid about the park.

Planes thread the sky like needles. No attack

presents itself. No dogfight

twists above the level of the trees. A kite

is moored in the sky. It peers,

like th boy on the diving-board, down upon the world

where we have crawled: we are raw-gilled

and live. The blood is banging in my ears.

 

Leontia Flynn

 

(in the last line, ‘live’ is the adjective, rhyming with ‘five’)

 

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