Old Man with a Swimming Pool


 Old Man with a Swimming Pool


As I sit and stare I know full well

         you will not clean yourself.

Not once in 43 years did

          you toss out the leaves,

         kill the forming green algae

         or run in new water.

I stare at the beautiful reflections

         on your glass surface and

         marvel at us two old ones with

         a shared past.

When I was young

         and had lots of energy

         you were new and easy to keep clean.

There was not a tree

         over 3 feet tall in 200 yards.

Drop in a bit of acid and chlorine

         and you were sterile and

         beautifully transparent.

Your new white plaster

         and the sun lit the pool.

You were then as cold

         as you were clear.

Your clarity invited a quick dive

         and quick shiver.

These days there are lots

         of year-round leaf-dropping trees.

They are close and hanging over you.

Come a slight wind and you

         manage to Willie Mays

         catch every leaf dropped.

Whatever and how many,

         you manage to neatly catch all

         windy throws to you.

I have taken good care of you

         low these many years.

Black algae, cracks

         and broken pump motors

         fixed fast.

Leaves on the top,

         leaves on the bottom

         scooped up and measured.

I hired Oscar, the pool sweep.

         to help.

He worked day in

         and day out to harvest

         your collection of neighbors'leaves.

The solar heater stopped

         the shivering cursing

         you got for years.

So here I sit staring at you

         thinking of all the kids

          who learned to swim in you.

Guess it has been worth it, huh?

And my thought is how

          much like a married couple we are.

When we were young

         we played with no concern of work.

Now that we are old

         we need to dedicate

         ourselves to mutual service.

But, my friend you are old enough

         to clean up after yourself.

And you have not done much

         for me lately.



Doug Minnis

May 8,2010





This was written before I had the pool re-surfaced and repaired. It is also before the neighbors trimmed their trees. My son Dorrick thinks more than 100 kids learned to swim in this pool