Friday, April 19, 2013


Picture from Wikimedia Commons

I've been writing poems all month with Mary Lee in her Common Inspiration-Uncommon Creations Challenge. Every day, Mary Lee posts some kind of image- a photograph, a sound image, or a video clip. Today we are supposed to be writing to the sound of the ocean but when I read Mary Lee's "Swimming Pool Memory," it brought up one of my most vivid memories from childhood…


I am five.
Marge Westbay tells me to sit
on the steps at the pool
until it is my turn
to swim with her.

I mean to sit there
But then somehow
I am underwater
moving weightlessly
through a strange and magical
aqua green world

by the dappled sunlight
on the bottom
of the pool

The lifeguard
drags me to the top
sits my bottom hard
on the edge of the pool
and scolds me
for moving toward that magic.

© Carol Wilcox, 2013

POETRY FRIDAY is at Irene Latham's Live Your Poem. Irene is the "instigator" of a really interesting Progressive Poem. Every day, for the entire month, a different poet adds a new line to the poem-- it's been fascinating to watch it unfold. Be sure to head over to Irene's blog and check it out!


Linda B said...

I commented over on Mary Lee's post, too, Carol. It's a great poem, just quiet, like that water sparkling, so alluring to jump in. I like that you remembered the feel of it, & then the lifeguard-probably scared him, right?

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Enjoyed your poem very much! Those pool memories are rich, aren't they?

Irene Latham said...

Oh, Carol, that magic! Yes! Love this image of 5 year old you.

Beverley Baird said...

A magical poem.Loved it. Our memories sure do provide grist for poetry.
Thankfully the lifeguard rescued you.
Hope you have no fear of the water.

Jone said...

What a wonderful pome. I wish I had committed to this but it's been an insane month.

Cathy said...


by the dappled sunlight"

I felt like I was right at the pool with you as you swam in the "magical aqua green world."

I read Beverly's comment and wondered, were you rescued or were you just enjoying a swim in an area you were not supposed to be swimming in at the pool? It didn't sound as if you were scared, but there was the hint of the "bottom of the pool."


Carol said...

This actually did happen when I was five. A neighbor of ours managed a pool. Her daughters were about our age and we often went with them to the pool. We would sit on the steps of the pool and wait for our turn to go into the deep end with her. One day I was sitting on the steps, and then somehow, I wasn't on the steps, I was all the way under the water just walking around- I have no idea how I got there. I wasn't scared at all- it really was kind of magical and I vividly remember the light and blue green color at the bottom of the pool. I remember seeing my neighbor diving down to get me and pulling me to the top but I was never scared. I still love the water.

Steve Peterson said...

I have really enjoyed reading your poems this month over at Mary Lee's place. Thanks for all the fine poetry!

I loved the wonder in this piece, the "dappled sunlight", the "moving weightlessly / through a strange and magical / aqua green world."

The ending, too, was perfect! How often kids' wonder brings them to places that adults find out of bounds.

Carol said...

Thanks so much to all for your kind words! This month has definitely been a "challenge" for me as a writer!

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Beautiful imagery that we can all relate to...I especially love the last two lines!

Mary Lee said...

Seems like memories of swimming and water run deep, eh?

Thanks again for playing along all month. Let's have a long distance party the night of the 30th!