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Meditation in the Vashon Island Golf Club Outdoor Pool Closing for the Season
by Ann Spiers

Flocks of Golden Crowns decorate the firs;
Violet-green Swallows maneuver their last turn
north, then swoop south, now gone.
This is my final hour doing laps.

The wait staff is plunging also, using
the free passes offered to replace thin tips.
In lounge chairs, some sip drinks, remarking
on this and that, conclude that the club
should fell the trees for more light.
The three p.m. flight to SeaTac descends,
cuts its engines, glides north
for the big turn above the Duwamish.

In the blue water, the busboys join me
around the in-flow pipes, warm water
engulfing us. Where else can I exercise?
During hunting season, the forest trails fill
with bam bam, king tides flood the beach,
and bikes share the road with really old ladies
who hug the fog line in all seasons.

I swim forth, slowly, managing a side crawl,
return with a breast stroke. Then, on my back,
try a few arm-lifts, milling as if I failed
the Aqua Follies audition. From the bar kitchen,
the smudge of fry oil wafts over, waltzing
with the aroma of low tide lofted up island.
The day moon is as round as it will get.

I like this wait staff, as much as all the people
who in season swim many laps, fast and straight,
arms, legs, body, head, lips all making good time
and who flip perfectly at the wall for their return.
I swim for thirty minutes minimum and max,
back and forth. I watch the clock, its minute
and second hands. In the changing room,
I've given up being modest. I always forget
something: shampoo, towel, underpants.

Now I am alone in the pool; all the staff
is warming under the last hour of sun.
With this brief season of swimming,
I've gained little muscle, lost more of my mind,
and still have my pound of flesh. Hovering
above me, the Bluet is also at the end of its season,
all those whirring wings, all that back and forth,
devouring summer's last no-see-ums.


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