High on the platform
my longlegged lifeguard
reclines cat-like,
her keen eyes invisible
behind wraparound shades.
Mute as pharoah,
she scans the lanes
of middleaged men like me
slapping like mad
thru lukewarm water
as if swimming 
backward in time.
She used to look down and nod
as I passed her throne,
feeling as guilty as a girl
over my exposed gut.
Now she ignores me.
What have I done 
to earn her displeasure?
Would she deign to save me
if I were drowning?
These are my questions
as I suck in my gut
and shamble shamefacedly
to the empty lane,
taking my place among 
my sagging brethren.
With toes curled over
the lip of the cool tile,
I watch the waves
undulate seductively,
then take a deep breath
and dive 
into the watery grave 
of our lost youth.  




copyright 2001 Phoebe Claire Publishing, LLC  All rights reserved