Pool Girl

My daughter is
Swimming laps and laps
She is darker than dark in her
mid-summer tan
and her Copper-toned ass.

She’s nine and proud
Of her accomplishments:
Gliding under the water
on one breath half-way down the pool,

Doing handstands,
cartwheels,
headstands
under the chlorine blue.

Watch me, mama, watch me!

This morning she didn’t even
want to come here,
didn’t want to swim today.

Once again in the monotony of the midday heat,
she is full of splashes,
and confidence and she emerges from the water

nine year old perfect body
of muscle and tone and baby fat

Of baby body leaving
and girl body coming on

Two piece confidence

and she informs me

She’s going for ice cream
at the town market down the street,

she leaves in nothing
but flip flops and bikini and
a couple of dollars

I’m waiting and I don’t mean to.

Waiting for the end
when the world
Starts to tell her,
that that body of hers
That sweet smile,
That brown skin,

isn’t good enough…

About Margaret Elysia Garcia

Margaret Elysia Garcia is the author of short story ebook collection Sad Girls and Other Stories, and the audiobook Mary of the Chance Encounters, and the co-founder and lead playwright of Las Pachucas, theatrical troupe. She teaches creative writing and theatre in a California state prison.
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