in the summertime we’d gather.
when the heat rose through our feet
and made our barefoot lives untenable.
our parents packed and piled us,
we teams of children, small barbarians,
into mini vans and busses.
on arrival we threw ourselves through
neighbors houses, loud with summer frenzy.
we were chaos manifest. we
did not pause to take in the serenity
that is a dormant pool.
its mirrored surface marked
with leaves of trees
too hot to bear the weight
gentle ripples caused by bugs’ wings
iridescent, brushing the surface
on their way about their business.
delirious with heat,
sick with the sun, we
scattered into riotous motion
the bugs who buzzed
around the surface
(dancing, biting things
their green chrysalises
the color of our bathing suits)
sticky in the sun we
plunged, bodies arching
in the light like rainbows,
into blue and white.
so cold our teeth would chatter
so pure we would not protest
the chill that arched through to our bones.
we tossed each other’s toys and then,
mimicking the pose of ancient divers,
set out. fingers fumbling, we found them
floating to the bottom of the pool
bellies brushing cement,
eyes open, goggles on.
we were sharks, then,
fingers clutching prizes, predatory,
the sea of legs above a tempting sight.
we stalked the icy depths,
eight feet below,
then pounced! our prey,
once friends, made splashing, shouting protest.
large jungle cats disguised as kids,
arms and legs dangling,
bodies sheared by
hard lines of cold water
and captured sea