Strange, 1951
Strange but true
that boys, or call
them young men,
looked at my parents
in an Armed Forces 
recruiting poster 
and then volunteered.
My father with sharp ribs
and wave of hair.
My mother’s blond hair
pulled back, toes 
curled off cement.
Towels over arms.
The narrowing lanes
of the pool behind 
a tribute to perspective.
August, nineteen fifty-one.
I wasn’t proud of how
gracefully they aged,
or of their later kindness,
but of those swimmers
before their swim,
not yet wondering
how to beat something
into a ploughshare,
or if a thing must be 
beaten at all.
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