The Lifeguards Code and Storm Dreams

“The Lifeguards Code” is a revision of “Storm Dreams” where I used “The Knights Code of Chivalry” as a format to revise it and that is posted below my poem as well as “Storm Dreams”.

The Lifeguards Code

There is no bard-sung song of chivalry
Just the chant of Marco-Polo
Mixed with splashing and screaming
Yet we are knights who stick to our code:

  • To fear the Commissioner of Parks and maintain His Pools
  • To serve the aquatics director with memorized rules
  • To protect children and adults from cuts and concussions
  • To refrain from yelling profanities at unruly patrons
  • To despise diving, horseplay, and cursing
  • To fight rule breakers with mental coercing
  • To work by the laws of weather and for a thorough tan
  • To evacuate patrons during storms to avoid electrocutions
  • To obey managers and to have everyone else obey you
  • To guard the honor of those clad in Lycra, navy blue
  • To keep those who cannot swim in the shallow end
  • To respect the bikini choices of overweight women
  • At all times to speak strongly and above all, loudly
  • To continue discipline of those who “didn’t know”
  • To avoid sunburns and still earn that summer glow
  • Never to refuse to prevent or stop a drowning
  • Never to turn the back on those who are swimming

The Knights Code of Chivalry from the Song of Roland:

  • To fear God and maintain His Church
  • To serve the liege lord in valor and faith
  • To protect the weak and defenceless
  • To give succor to widows and orphans
  • To refrain from the wanton giving of offence
  • To live by honour and for glory
  • To despise pecuniary reward
  • To fight for the welfare of all
  • To obey those placed in authority
  • To guard the honour of fellow knights
  • To eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit
  • To keep faith
  • At all times to speak the truth
  • To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun
  • To respect the honour of women
  • Never to refuse a challenge from an equal
  • Never to turn the back upon a foe

Storm Dreams

In the distance thunder rumbles. But rain
isn’t always guaranteed. The lightning
is all our eyes look out for, flash once,
jagged lines of violent velocity.
We sit on concrete panels, squares fit
end to end, the pool is still between their
geometric diagram. Thunderheads
have been rolling, warning us that
our patrons need to leave, but we
watch the water, protect it, from unneeded,
improbable, electrocutions. That is, if anyone
jumps the metal fence, runs through the breezeway.
There are other ways to injure yourself
by the silent pool, and we’re bound
as knights of a not-so-romantic,
but far more honorable, code,
not to let cuts and concussions
happen, nor let the children drown
or the elders or the parents
that the primary instruction.
In the distance the thunder rumbles louder
but we’re dry without the rain
un-chlorinated rushes of sweet soakings
we abhor sitting in our tall white chairs
when the thunderheads aren’t rolling.
We sit on the rough hard poolside
talking about the weather, and brothers
and sisters, boyfriends, girlfriends
patrons that don’t belong here, but in
our lives we try to enjoy for the few hours
outside this place, construction in the middle
of green fields of glory, where the lightning
strikes, once, sharp and fleeting.
There are more to follow, but none so close
to feel beneath us, feel our hearts pounding
like we would were we preparing
to jump into the chlorinated waters
stick to our code, save a life
the water is stagnant now
we have only ourselves to worry about
and the thunder is rumbling on

Creative Commons License
This work by Sarah Holmes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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