“Old Hot Springs Pool” by Diane Webster


I never learned to swim

in cold, rippling blue pools

because my neck glands swelled

and forced me to endure hot towels

so this hot springs pool shimmering

green moss insulation

clinging to cement walls and floor,

beckoned a soothing wave

as I jumped right in.

I splashed and waded up to my chin

in the casual warm water

kneading my toes into the lawn moss below

to get a grip to swim/walk side to side

and bobber float with the yellow and green beach ball

I blew up with my own life-saving breath

soft mat of moss like entering a watery jungle

or womb-like summery scene

peeled off like a wet, suction-cup bathing suit

when I was forced to leave

and feel the goose bumps of the outside world.