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Jan 2012
The trip would be flawless -
water splashing, echoed shrieks in chlorinated sunlight -
except for these baffling creatures
patrolling the pool

Up and down they go,
up and down,
staring daggers straight ahead
and daring you to get in their way

Rubber hats and plastic eyes,
folded skin, wrinkled
like deflated dinghies
doggedly paddling
their pointless journeys.

A bit like clockwork bath toys,
but not as entertaining.

The safety notices are wasted on them.
No petting?
I should ****** well think not.
Bombing?  Ducking?  Anything fun at all?
Up, down,
up
and down.
Relentless as the baddies
in a ZX Spectrum game,
stuck in their lanes,
joyless.

They were there when I was six
and they're still there, you know,
a few more wrinkles now,
up
(and down),
spilling out their black slick second skins.
Whatever it was they were looking for,
the search
isn't improving their moods.
Alan McClure
Written by
Alan McClure
1.6k
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