the ugly writers

Blue Plastic Pool

I will always remember fondly a folding lawn chair Pulled up to the edge of a blue plastic pool

Blue Plastic Pool


My mother sat for hours in the front yard

She would pull a folding lawn chair

Up to the edge of the blue plastic pool

Positioning her sunglasses that she had saved

From her last jaunt to Hawaii in the late 60’s

On top of her head

A tiara resting on her beautiful black curly hair

She was generous with the sun oil

That always seemed to glisten on her arms

Once her feet entered that icy hose filled pool

My sister and I knew she should be left alone

Silence prevailed until she slowly removed her feet

Mom would towel dry one and then the other

She then stood next to pool always studying the water

In the late 80’s I finally asked why she loved that pool

Her answer came slowly as she removed her dark lenses

“That pool is a refuge.

I remember an ocean that I will never see again

I pretend that pool is water surrounding Hawaii

No other land that I can see

Even for a few moments it is him and I on the beach.”

The HIM was Norman Allen Kaluhiokailani

The man she thought she would one day marry

My mother didn’t marry Norman

She returned to Minnesota and then married my father

Norman and my mother lost touch over the years

My mother spoke of the water and the waves

Of body surfing and eating fish on the beach

Of time spent in a sandy hut with the man of her dreams

More often in her final days his name fell from her lips

Norman Allen Kaluhiokailani

Now when I swim in my large ever so blue pool

I often think of my mom and her refuge

Of her Hawaiian waters

Of sunglasses worn the last time she saw the man she dreamed of

Whether it is a pool or lake or the ocean in the gulf

I will always remember fondly a folding lawn chair

Pulled up to the edge of a blue plastic pool


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Kelli J Gavin
Kelli J Gavin lives in Carver, Minnesota with Josh, her husband of an obscene amount of years and they have two crazy kids. She is a Writer, Professional Organizer and owns Home & Life Organization and a small Jewelry Company. Look for Kelli’s first book of short stories and poems in 2019. You can find her work with The Ugly Writers, Sweatpants & Coffee, Writing In a Woman’s Voice, The Writers Newsletter, Writers Unite!, Academy of the Heart and Mind, The Rye Whiskey Review, Spillwords, Mercurial Stories, 121 Words, HerStry, Ariel Chart, The Basil O’Flaherty, PPP Ezine, Southwest Media, Otherwise Engaged, Pleat her Skin, Paper.Li, The New Ink Review, among others. Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KelliJGavin

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