Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Night Swim

When the pool water warms and days stay hot until after bedtime
it's time for a night swim.
Suits are pulled on and towels dropped poolside,
but voices stay low and lights off.
Only the single underwater light glows,
shifting white yellow green blue red purple.
One by one we step quietly into the still water
and slip below the surface.

Night swims are hushed and slower than daytime,
with no cannonballs or splashing.
We glide underwater, back and forth,
twirling, graceful merpeople just for a night.
Fireflies light up the yard and hover in the air
and the moon peeks from behind sparse clouds.
One by one, we start to float,
looking for stars and softly naming constellations.

After a while, when fingers and toes turn pruney,
and we are floating and gliding silently,
we know it's time.
The night swim is almost over, but we hold on
just a little longer.
Because night swims are anticipated for weeks
and talked about for months.
So we stay just a few more minutes.


  1. Even though you added a picture, your wonderfully chosen words were picture enough for me! Also: I'm jealous...

  2. I agree with Lauren; the words are better than the picture. However, the picture is beautiful, too. I like the 'merpeople' and the end, about the anticipation of this.

  3. The rhythm of your words help to create that hushed feeling. With the heat we've been having, a night swim would be a welcome treat. Enjoy!

  4. I almost got cool and calm listening to your words! I'll bet there are a few night swims this summer. Enjoy!

  5. Ahh, your slice once again took me away! I used to go nightswimming in the lake we lived on in Wisconsin when I was younger. You captured that feeling in your slice. Your word choice skillfully echoes the feeling of quietly stepping into the still water and slipping beneath the surface.

  6. Sounds like heaven. I can just imagine the gentle breeze that must graze the top of the pool. I hope that there are many more nightly swims this summer for you.

  7. You captured this cherished time with beautiful words. What a gift you have, Ruth. Hold on to these summer memories. :)MaryHelen

  8. You have masterfully described the silent slowness of the night swim. Mesmerizing. The feeling is there.

  9. If I sit close to you, will your way with words rub off on me?