The Northville Review
an online literary journal
Tuesday at the Civic Pool

Scott Owens

They’re all here, the doctor’s wife,
so alone she’ll talk to anyone,
including herself, the Nicaraguan
boy scaring smaller children,
too heavy to play like the others,
even in water, his tattooed teenaged
sister in shorts and black t-shirt
so wet it sags dangerously low,
a tanning-table, siliconed mom
who sends her boy to play while she
assumes the most conspicuous chaise,
soaking up every glance, returning
appreciation with perfect teeth.
The lifeguards grow jealous. Trapped
in athletic suits on towered chairs,
they look for reasons to remove her,
ignore the boy in Spiderman underwear
that won’t stay up, the old man with athletic
shorts instead of trunks, pockets
pulled out like lascivious bladders.

They dive into cool water to temper
the heat of frustrations, drown
sorrow and disappointment.
They see in each other’s face
a common sadness, carry a collective
dream of what they haven’t got,
the backyard pool, perfect children,
six-pack abs, and the husband who cares.

About the author

Born in Greenwood, SC, Scott Owens now lives in Hickory, NC, where he teaches and coordinates the Poetry Hickory reading series. He is a graduate of the UNCG MFA program, co-editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review, Chair of the Sam Ragan Poetry Prize for the Poetry Council of NC, and author of "Musings," a weekly poetry column in Outlook. He is the author of 4 collections of poetry and over 400 poems published in various journals, including Georgia Review, North American Review, Dead Mule, Chattahoochee Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal. He has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and a Best of the Net Prize.