the sound of the swimming pool

We line up in our rows of eight

Waiting for the call to arms, to strip

And fold our tracksuits, neatly in the plastic box,

Swinging arms to loosen muscles, taut and ready

For that moment when we spring to life.

But noises are the thing that still

Haunts my dreams and brings that heartbeat back.

The sound of man, saying ‘take your marks’,

The beep and splash and cheering crowds,

The pool itself, a living life that breathes

And hurts and moves like me, waiting for

The moment when I’m on that block, in the water

Underneath the surface of, muffling the crowds that scream,

Their voices just a distant rumble of

Thunder that will dwindle as

The race draws to its painful end.

4 thoughts on “the sound of the swimming pool

  1. Margot Kinberg

    This really captures the energy and atmosphere of a race! There’s that sense of being right there, in that moment, that suspends space, time, etc.. You’ve really nailed that here!

  2. clcouch123

    The participation of the pool with the swimmer and the muffling of the crowd, once in the water. This poem successfully re-creates the experience, its tensions, and its attractions.

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