Nancy Murphy / Writer

writings and performances by Nancy Murphy

Betty, Poolside


She pleads with him to join her

in the water, at first lightly,

then with a rising insistence,

and he resists. She is unhappy.

It is always the same, the woman

calling the man to her, wanting

to float together in their skin,

and he on the edge of falling,

regaining footing, then diving in

when she is not looking. He is

on his own time. Betty’s beauty

strikes me and I wonder if he sees it

anymore the way the world does,

how any other man could not

say no. I learn they are married

one year now. She talks to me

in the Jacuzzi. I tell her

I left my husband because

he would not swim naked with me

in the dark in the pool behind

the fence at our house.


Baltimore Review, Volume VI, Number 2, 2002