Incremental Poetry ~ 52 Lines

Give Me Skies of Blue

I pass the afternoon here in my chair
beneath a sunlit sky, celestial blue;
I volley words while children pass the ball
in bath that will not wash away their smiles.
In lieu of net, they toss across a float.
Their ball escapes and bounces my umbrella;
I laugh and send it back into the pool.

“Hey, Mom. The water’s warm inside the pool,”
the children try to coax me with their smiles.
I smile in echo, then reclaim my chair.
“No, thanks,” I say. “Just have fun with your ball.
But maybe later I’ll get in and float.”
They turn and shrug, then dive beneath the blue
while I return to write ‘neath my umbrella.

Although I’m in the shade of my umbrella,
I feel the summer heat beat on my chair.
There’s not a hint of cloud to hide the blue,
and frankly, I’d feel better in the pool.
So wistfully I gaze at children’s smiles,
then guilt compels—I must not drop the ball;
I have to write if I’m to stay afloat.

The pool is empty—now it’s time to float,
for the children tired of playing with their ball.
I leave my poem under the umbrella;
a breeze removes my pencil to the chair.
It’s peaceful staring up into the blue
while gently rocked on surface of the pool.
If only I could see the children’s smiles….

They sneak back to the pool, suppressing smiles,
and skirt around the table and umbrella.
One single mission: to upset my float
and send me, head to toe, into the blue.
Like savages, they splash into the pool,
then I go down. My float becomes a chair
to win and lose again. We have a ball!

Then other games we fashion with the ball,
and take turns swimming underneath the float.
At length the hour comes to leave the pool.
With wrinkled hands and feet, by the umbrella,
we dry with towels waiting on the chair.
The setting sun brings chatters to our smiles;
my little girl’s red lips are turning blue.

The sky is now a deeper shade of blue.
I turn the fountain on that lights the pool
while hubby lights a fire ‘mid glowing smiles,
and I secure abandoned float and ball.
A hotdog dinner under stars’ umbrella—
so calm it makes me feel that I could float
while walking to my husband in the chair.

If I must choose, or pool or poolside chair,
between the ball and float, or my umbrella,
then give me skies of blue and children’s smiles.


Copyright © 2019 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved

Welcome to my series, Incremental Poetry, where each week the featured poem will be one line longer than the one I share the week before. I have no idea how long I’ll keep this up, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Thank you for stopping by.

Patterned after the Sestina, but based on the septet rather than the sestet
Metered: iambic pentameter
Lexical repetition instead of rhyme
Numbers represent end words and indicate the order in which they appear in each stanza:
Stanza 1: 1234567
Stanza 2: 7415326
Stanza 3: 6127435
Stanza 4: 5361274
Stanza 5: 4652713
Stanza 6: 3576142
Stanza 7: 2743651
Envoy, Line 1: 7/1
Envoy, Line 2: 2/4/6
Envoy, Line 3: 5/3


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