I never knew her name
But I loved her
Because when she ascended from the water
Her long brown hair clung
To the back of her neck
And her one-piece swimsuit.

She lived behind freckles
And her brown eyes
Never met mine.

The giant concrete pond teemed
With kids – mostly white, some black –
While our parents worked.

My brother drove
My father’s black Z28 Camaro
With a red pinstripe and T-tops.
From the street
With a telescopic lens
Through a chain link fence
He stole a picture of her.

He took the picture
To embarrass me.
I took the picture
And placed it behind
A thick layer of film
In a photo album.

She is faceless
Frozen in midair, graceful,
Launched from the diving board
A 90-degree angle
Aiming at the water’s surface.

The heads float above the water
The arms are outstretched
Open hands, an invitation
Come on in
The water’s fine
Let the sun beat down
On your sunburnt shoulders
Smell the chlorine
Riding on the air
Listen to the kids
Screaming with glee
And remember the one
With no name and no face
Whom you loved.


(I wrote this in June 2011 for a class I was taking. Maybe it’s because summer’s right around the corner that I’ve been thinking about it for the last couple of days.)