Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Togara Muzanenhamo

THE POOL

THE POOL

THE POOL

1
The splashes were throngs of panic, accompanied by pleas of help – that
night when all calm shattered like frozen glass. We rushed out to find father
in the pool submerging himself against all resistance, wrestling with arms
trying desperately to pull him out.
2
The reverend conducted the wedding ceremony before the backdrop of two
lions’ heads spurting water into both shallow and deep end. The first
marriage in the family, where rings were exchanged and vows spoken in front
of the sculpted fountains – the water falling through air, looping into the pool
— as blue as truth and nearly as clear.
3
It was a concrete excavation filled with a blue cool heaven, our saviour from
the heat and the long weeks of boredom; during the holidays we splashed
them away, being as innovative as ever, killing time by day-fulls, cursing
clouds till evening came.
4
Snakes dialled on its surface, in the sun, like lightening through an opal sky.
Ladders of frogs’ eggs failed to join everything, but hung horizontal as
though the surface had a height you could climb.

At night was the music; amphibians croaking as though they sung for dear
life, and as the water evaporated away the sound echoed more so, deeply – as
though someone turned up the volume, gradually …
5
It also killed. When the pool was out – unattended, it’s murky green surface
shone like despair. Insects, bloated frogs, bobbing rats, cordoned with thick
slimly sludge around the fur, usually succumbed to its open trap. And our
dog, the one we loved for years, he too was found there one morning by the
gardener – afloat, a buoyant omen.
6
Now it lies empty, no one swims, no one is here to swim. The lions’ heads,
mounted on stone, are silent – their hollow eyes stare into the orchard where
grass and weeds engulf the fruit trees. As the sun sets the lions’ heads fall in
shadows in the stained empty hull where the echoes of rustling leaves can
sometimes be heard.
Close

THE POOL

1
The splashes were throngs of panic, accompanied by pleas of help – that
night when all calm shattered like frozen glass. We rushed out to find father
in the pool submerging himself against all resistance, wrestling with arms
trying desperately to pull him out.
2
The reverend conducted the wedding ceremony before the backdrop of two
lions’ heads spurting water into both shallow and deep end. The first
marriage in the family, where rings were exchanged and vows spoken in front
of the sculpted fountains – the water falling through air, looping into the pool
— as blue as truth and nearly as clear.
3
It was a concrete excavation filled with a blue cool heaven, our saviour from
the heat and the long weeks of boredom; during the holidays we splashed
them away, being as innovative as ever, killing time by day-fulls, cursing
clouds till evening came.
4
Snakes dialled on its surface, in the sun, like lightening through an opal sky.
Ladders of frogs’ eggs failed to join everything, but hung horizontal as
though the surface had a height you could climb.

At night was the music; amphibians croaking as though they sung for dear
life, and as the water evaporated away the sound echoed more so, deeply – as
though someone turned up the volume, gradually …
5
It also killed. When the pool was out – unattended, it’s murky green surface
shone like despair. Insects, bloated frogs, bobbing rats, cordoned with thick
slimly sludge around the fur, usually succumbed to its open trap. And our
dog, the one we loved for years, he too was found there one morning by the
gardener – afloat, a buoyant omen.
6
Now it lies empty, no one swims, no one is here to swim. The lions’ heads,
mounted on stone, are silent – their hollow eyes stare into the orchard where
grass and weeds engulf the fruit trees. As the sun sets the lions’ heads fall in
shadows in the stained empty hull where the echoes of rustling leaves can
sometimes be heard.

THE POOL

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère