Sunday, October 22, 2006

Swimming And Religion

One of my earliest memories is of swimming
With my old man and my sisters
In the public pool
On a Saturday morning
We loved that
Especially because the pool was brand new
So everything was new
Even the car park
But the best thing of all was
The sunlight on the water
The building had amazing glass windows that stretched from floor to ceiling
And on a bright day the sunlight came flooding in
And half the pool would be illuminated in sunshine
And we kids would always rush to that side because
It made you feel like you were on holiday
So we looked forward to those swimming Saturdays
And we always hoped the sun would shine
So we could swim in the dappled water, so clear, so pure,
So unlike the council estate,
Where we lived
Then one Saturday we went to the pool
And the sun was shining
But there was no sunlight on the water
And the light was artificial and gloomy
I looked around at the windows
All of the windows had been blacked out
And there was no sun
So I said to my old man
What happened
And my old man unable to conceal his anger said
Some swimmers don't like people looking through the windows
And I said why
And he said, it’s something to do with religion
And I said, what
And he told me to stop asking questions
So I did and carried on with my swim
But I missed the sunlight on water
Joseph Ridgwell

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