Holiday: a man backstrokes
oh so gently in the hotel pool.
It’s breakfast time. Bean juice
coagulates on my plate.
I watch the man’s languid, enchanting
backstroke and, for some reason,
it inflates my heart with sentimental joy.
This semi-corpulent middle-aged man,
is, right now,
The Most Beautiful Thing On Earth:
His arcing limbs do not slap or thrash,
but plop into the drink like skipping stones.
He is a babbling brook. A water feature.
The splish-splosh trickle-truckle of a spa waiting room.
And what’s more, this forty-something baldy
gliding through the water
fills me with love for all humanity,
because he seems blithely rapt
in absolute peace
(despite the room rates at this place).
But then, I realise, all of this might be
free association of the mind
linking this moment to a scene in
the Oscar winning motion picture:
when a legless Lieutenant Dan
makes peace with God (for taking his legs),
and backstrokes with the same carefree beauty
into a pink and orange sunrise
(funny how the mind does that).
And suddenly the bubble of beauty is burst.
The portly swimmer becomes just that
(FYI: legs intact),
and my wife returns from the buffet
with a plate of vibrant fruit segments; Cheshire melon
and the greenest kiwi I’ve ever seen.
Lo! Only now have I tasted true kiwi.
And I remember: I’m on honeymoon!
And my wife, in this moment, and forever more,
shall be the only human to be known as:
The Most Beautiful Thing On Earth.
Similar to the way Forrest felt about Jenny,
in the Oscar winning motion picture: