The poet has the gift of seeing the beauty and emotion in everyday life and putting that into verse.  I have not tried my hand at poetry since my early days in college during a creative writing course.  To satisfy one assignment in that class I wrote a poem warning against onion breath, which probably explains why it has been so long since my last Haiku.  Yet, the beauty of everyday life does not escape me and recently I found myself particularly moved.  

Of all the unexpected places to witness something deeply moving, I happened to be at a community pool.  This particular pool is equipped with a special chair to assist those who are less mobile into the pool.  With me on that occasion was my youngest son who was very interested in that chair, particularly because the lifeguard had to hook it up to a hose in order to operate it.  Holding him so that he could observe this process, I took note of the lady who was being helped into the water.  Clearly physical activity had become difficult for her, she lacked muscle tone throughout her body.  Her skin appeared fragile as it does with age and her face showed little change in expression.  Do you ever find yourself wondering about a person, their life and their situation?  I admit to being curious about her then.   

As we watched the chair lower her into the water, an older gentleman with a bit of a hunch to his shoulders, similar seemingly fragile skin and a balding head, descended the stairs of the pool.  Swiftly he made his way to where the woman would enter the pool, his eyes on her the whole time.  Though he probably did it instinctually and without thought I noticed the way he held his arms because it was the same way I hold my arms when I am near one of my children as he climbs something steep or balances precariously.  The man did not let his arms drop into the water, or rest them near his sides or across his chest, but kept them elevated above the water just so, as if ready to catch her at any moment.

When the couple met in the water, the man took the woman gently from the chair and with the help of the water he lifted her and carried her in the same fashion that a groom carries his bride over the threshold.  Together they enjoyed the freedom the water provided and he was her chariot.  In the few moments of watching the pair I was struck so deeply by all of this.  The image of the man’s gaze, his protective stance, and the way he tenderly carried the woman have stayed with me and I think of that scene occasionally.  I wonder if anyone else in the room saw the poetry that I saw on that day- the fragility of the woman and the fragility of life in general; the loving concern of one person for another; and the closeness two people can share in this short lifetime.  That day I felt that in barely two minutes I watched something so meaningful, such a testament to love.  It was something that could have been so easily overlooked, but before my eyes on that day beautiful, touching poetry unfolded.  Like me you may not be a poet, but the poetry of this life lies before us each day.  It can be only moment, but seeing the beauty of that moment is part of what this life is all about.  



 





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    Jennifer Loebel

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