Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Lake

So, I made my last Jungle Banana Spider Victory post from the Pikes Peak Workforce Center…which of course is just around the way from “the ‘hood”...and once I’m that near to it, I can’t resist the tug on my heartstrings.

And so I hoofed it, happily…walking on air, really.  What a day, what a beautiful day it turned out to be.

I stopped and asked a man if he had a light, and he did. We paused in that quiet, private smokers' ceremony, where strangers become familiars over a flick and a flame. I thanked him and offered him a cigarette; he had his own and thanked me, and we each went our way.

My step was light and quick, and as I passed by Tesla, I thought to myself, “Damn, Spydra…you sure do walk fast; and all that jungle boogie – no wonder you stay so trim.”

After the big fire station, I looked both ways before crossing Printers Parkway…and at the big Regional Building Department, I crossed Airport into the Adams Neighborhood.

Mmmm, I love to go there and walk the sidewalks I know so well. On my way to Friend A, I ran into Friend B and Friend C, and together we loudly admired and whistled at the mail carrier’s tanned and shapely manlegs. After a bit, I moved on to Friend D’s, and sat down for some spaghetti and salad…chatting about the day, and how worried and blue I’d been just hours earlier.

I looked out the sliding door and into the Adams school building parking lot, filled satisfyingly with cars; empty and abandoned no more, STAR Academy parents waited to pick up their kids…who flowed out at the end of the day like some special electricity, infusing the whole area with renewed vitality and purpose and meaning. The flag was lowered and put away properly…and -- wearing my Adams Elementary School “Reach for the Stars” t-shirt -- I felt so much pride to be an American, and Coloradan, and Springs native, and K-Landian adoptee.

I reached for the crossword puzzle; it was then that I first saw the front page, and first learned the sad news. Tears sprang to my eyes before I finished the headline.

Two young lives drowned in Prospect Lake.

A very strong swimmer, for me a drowning is always a special tragedy; a sort of betrayal from the water in which I feel so at home. I close my eyes…and the panic and fear and exhaustion and surrender suffocate and break me…and I cry and I cry and I wonder, “God, why…?”

My heart and my prayers go out to these two young men, and their families and friends, and to the witnesses and the would-be rescuers; I'm so, so, so very sorry.

I added my tears and my sighs to the collective grieving of the people who live in the Memorial Park area; already so sad from the loss of Municipool and the loss of the Lake swimming to play host to the loss of two lives with all the world yet ahead of them, in the broad and bright sunlight of a September day –

Objection Sustained

Guess What: It's summertime, and the poor keep on living
Even though there are signs that may caution “No Swimming”
Shame on you fools who closed down those two pools
Just to save a few bucks; your decision-making sucks
The money you saved, spent on a worthless CodeBabe
When these two shining lights still burned ever so bright
You doused and drowned them in the height of their youth
A wound inflicted deeply, a theft absent of need
A tragedy averted were it not for your greed
And you know who you are; you know your own name
Though I know you not; gladly, strangers we remain
May your conscience second-guess you at third and fourth reckon
May a shudder remind you the next time your pool beckons
May you rethink all that you ruthlessly take
Each and every time you look upon Prospect Lake


Thank God

Today we weren’t evicted
Today the lights didn’t go out
Today the fight ended peacefully
That began with slam and shout
Today I didn’t have to ask him please
Work with my hands or get down on my knees
Or hear him refuse, and/or question my needs
Today I didn't have to sell my soul,
And at the end of the day, my belly was full
I can hardly believe in how great my good luck
Today I didn’t see a child struck by a truck
I didn’t let myself give in to the pain
And go out just to get hit by a train
Today I didn’t try to save my friend in vain
And end up drowning together, a damn crying shame
A new day; I pull taut my slingshot and take aim
For the cyclopean eyes of my giants again

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