by Francine DuBois
the old women at the pool
are singing "the impossible dream"
at the tops of their declining lungs,
and the one whose name must be verna
stands up and flips the ruffles on the front
of her skirted swimsuit before entering
the pool outside the pink Victorian bed & breakfast.
the one whose name must be florence
watches her and wonders if she should
interpret that as a welcoming,
an ultimate demonstration of separation
from the dreaded harold, that chain-smoking
abusive dead husband of hers, or maybe
it was simply an accidental brushing.
the tiny couples, SUV-drivin' women and their
khaki-wearin' husbands, wander around in a daze
between the cottages selling ceramic miniature cottages.
whole storefronts dedicated to ozark keychains,
and the carob-smoothie shoppes. it was enough
to make anyone consider escaping into primal urges,
flee from grotesque mauve capitalism into the comforting
arms of someone who would really understand, the one
who had been there through wars, husbands, depressions,
recessions, and boom times. florence almost started to hum
again, and underwater, verna was imagining herself as
esther williams, gliding through it all with a smile on her face
and perfect make-up, popping out of the water to wave
a glistening, withered hand at florence the dreamer.
Francine's Version -- Hezekiah's
Version -- Inspiration
Previous Poem -- Next
Poem -- Table of Contents