I looped a whistle around my neck
and learned to sit in the sun without falling
asleep for ten hours a day.
I learned to appreciate loneliness--
fifteen minutes by myself to read,
no children running on the concrete,
no snobbish parents wondering if
I was old enough to save their
pudgy nine-year-olds from drowning.
In these short spans of quietness,
I found solace in the pool’s lack of ripples.
The empty chairs that went on for days
were too big to spread myself out on and
that was more than comfortable.
When the short spans became long ones,
(it rained too often that summer),
and the unhappy swimmers gathered up
their noodles and towels and toys,
the accusing glares they shot my way were not
enough to make me believe
that this weather was my fault.
Beneath my thin umbrella I would stick out
my toes to taste the rain that fell from
the pool’s reflection.
In the drops that played
drums on the water, I found the
soundtrack to my summer.