In Progress

Skimming

A Southern California problem:
the pool leaks.

Since that hole first broke open
into gopher tunnels leading down to my neighbor’s yard,
I’ve heard several leak stories,
just like I heard all those rattlesnake stories
when I first started working on my garden.

His gloved hand reached for a weed and…

One woman learned how a leak
in the neighboring yard
had been flowing beneath the fence,
only to irrigate her plants.
When the leak was fixed, her water bill soared.
Another woman’s home was surrounded by pools,
at least one of which was leaking.
She knocked on every door,
but no one would claim the dampness.

I guess there are leak detectors out there.
They can pinpoint your problem,
prevent you from digging
up one pipe after the next.
My trouble spot was the skimmer—
some 1970’s model
that once cleaned the surface of this pool
while I was still in elementary school.
A jackhammer did the trick.

Location, location, location
talked me into this extra,
this extra hassle, not completely welcome—
though many love to use it when it’s hot.

Some do suggest I turn the pool into a container garden.
Turn off the pump, and fill it up with mud.
Yet I remain a reluctant steward,
watering this sapphire so some future owner
can take delight in it,
as those who came before me
surely did.