Friday, January 12, 2007

Memorial (day)

She pulled a drowning child from the pool today.

She watched his small
pale body
red hair
open eyes
floating peacefully with the water's movement
twisting and swaying
keeping what rhythm
only he knew
if he knew at all
as she struggled to understand what it was she was seeing
the moment she saw him
his light-dappled body beneath the surface
this was not right
this was not right
this was not right
and so her eyes stayed with him
as her own children held her close
smiling in sunshine
until a few seconds
an eternity
she convinced herself this was not a game he was playing
holding his breath
counting to ten
or more
swimming past knees and ankles and shins
changed into peculiar incandescent forms
by blue reflections
this was a child dying
perhaps already dead
and she reached
letting go of one child’s hand
holding another on her hip on the other side
and she pulled this child out of the water by his arm and raised him up
strangely heavy
high above the water and moved with him like that to the pool's edge
as she called for help
with a voice
it seemed
they could not hear
again and again
over the noise of the other children and their parents
(where were his parents?)
laughing and playing
enjoying their first taste of summer

He did not die.