The sign says no running, and the tiles are slick
with water sloshed up from bodies heaving
soaked costumes over the ceramic edge.
Blown out cheeks, red eyes, and tremble arms,
one bloke who kick off as if it will propel him up,
flailing mockery of a front crawl splattering
onto the pool edge where a teenage lifeguard
squeegees the flooded walkway back to damp,
yellow shirt a symbol that he’s been trained
to fetch a brick from the depths of the deep end.
Moves slow while his colleague plays cat’s cradle,
with the whistle roped around their neck,
discuss who will hose down the shower stalls,
since the pool is almost empty now,
apart from the elderly pair doing lengths,
and a girl bone dry in the changing room arch
telling herself to step out of the fringes
before the clock on the wall ticks along further
and the whistle is blown for the last call.
I chose option three for tonight’s poetics prompt, and incorporated the word fringe into my poem. I’ll admit to feeling a little apprehensive about posting, especially when one of my previous poems got a shout out in the prompt post, I felt as if I’d set a standard to live up to.