by Maureen Buchanan Jones
The liquid air of cool refuge
from Floridean afternoons
lured customers and novice me
to three middle-aged goddesses.
We waited tables, balanced shrimp,
and dispensed drowned olives
in the corner establishment
at Fourth and Sunrise.
If I learned anything
from them, it was to be effortless,
floating sick daughters,
arrested husbands, or broken cars
on continuous breakwaters
of practical jokes, droll advice,
or key lime pie. They were always
in motion, yet maintained
the languid atmosphere
celebrated no place better
than the disappearing distance
of that polished mahogany bar.
Precise and sure, their rhythm mocked
my flurried orders and cautious gestures.
Soon I learned to breathe like them,
tell stories, fill their hands
with a specialty of coconut and figs,
pick up shifts to stay
in their safe, subaqueous allure.
They showed me hairdos, arthritis,
new bills, and secret loves;
I showed them novels, daydreams,
my daughter's grades--all eddying
through time clocks and orders paid.
On the strength of their arms
which delivered hot fish and gin,
they buoyed me to a surface
breaking towards home.
Think about a meaningful experience you have had during a summer, then write about the experience using ocean metaphors.