Blue Pool

The family do is done.
Font and food. Bitter,
Tears and gin.
In blessed peace
We’re left to learn
Our litany of daily firsts.

Braced to swim, I fumble,
Fret in the gloom
Of dead bulbs and grimy tiles.
With one clumsy hand,
Snag the tags
Of your baffling nappy.
Slosh clean feet
Through strangers’ germs.

For we have found
A secret cathedral.

Tall panes soar heavenwards,
Razor angles slice the roof.
Unearthly glare,
Dazzle of steel and sleek water.
Solemn hush, edged
With suck and lap of water,
Not another swimming soul.

Before the window,
A lifeguard glows motionless.
An ebony icon,
Gilded by winter sun.

I falter at his side,
Glance a mute appeal.
He stares unmoved, hints denial.

Then loosens, bends to
Accept your trust.
You burrow safe into his shoulder,
Soft and slight against his
Broad, hard chest.

I slip in, submerge,
Cast silent ripples.
And raise my eyes to see
His wide black hand guard
Your tiny white back,
His sun-haloed head tilt,
Your cheeks meet in
Fleeting shared thought.

He bows
Cradles you down
Into the blood warm water
And my wet waiting arms.

© Gillian Munro 2013

Gillian Munro was born and brought up in the north west of England and now lives in Edinburgh with her husband and three children. In her working life she has been a linguist, banker, programmer, project manager and administrator and is currently open to suggestions.

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