I am delighted for you, and the man
I once was would have envied your good luck:
A swimming pool in your backyard! In ground!
With water deep enough that diving in
Won’t cause you to dash out your brains and guts.
Those spurting apertures that I enjoyed
Invading with my fingers as a boy:
They work with vents recycling water, no?
I say, take that, Old Heraclitus! I
know one man who can step into the same
water over again – all summer long!
But Heraclitus was talking about rivers
and we’re talking about your pool. We
are talking about clear water, dosed
with enough chlorine to kill algae, bacteria,
and anyone who drinks a good deal of it.
The philosopher’s river, that cannot
keep itself alive without taking on the scum
of the earth, is where they have to do their
swimming who cannot get themselves
a pool, or get in good with the pool people,
For a dip, or a little Marco Polo.
And don’t even get me started about
the beach crowd, so peppered and assaulted
with sand that they rinse off in the ocean, that
bastion of death, or her step sisters, the sounds,
bays and tidal straits, or any fish-filtered petri
dish left behind by the shifting of Great
Pangaea, or the occlusion of Mythic Atlantis.
Don’t get me started on folks who just managed
to crawl out of the ooze, then lounge on the
beach - daring the tide to give them back
their gills. Sun-bathe? On this dis-ozoned Orb?
Forgive me for ranting when today is
really about you and your swimming pool!
Forgive me for doing anything to
vex you as June glides into July, as
August yawns before us like a pizza oven,
and here’s me in my corduroy trousers!
Blessed be you! And blessed be your pool!
Blessed be your purifying filter!
Blessed be your shiny metal ladders!
Blessed be your bobbing thermometer!
Blessed be your timid in the shallows!
Blessed be your deep-end cannon-ballers!
Blessed be your cabana temple!
Blessed be your solemn patio!
Praise to your pool with our barbecue incense!
Praise to your pool with our tinkling ice cubes!
Let me swim in your pool, fair, fair weather friend!
Speak but pool, and I’ll be new baptized!