Denis Johnson

Denis Johnson
Denis Johnson 1949-2017

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dragonflies Over Archer Pool

For Micah

Tucson, August 2008
110 degrees

Dressed in our swim shirts and thick with sunscreen,
my son and I pile into our 1987 Toyota station wagon.
We named her “Betsy”, and she has since forgotten
what the letters “AC” stand for.

Windows down, we drive west through saguaros and
curve around Sentinel Peak.

We arrive at the pool drenched in sweat
and seriously grumpy.
Yet, we know we are close to water.

The pool clock reads 5:30pm.

Immediately, we are greeted by
hundreds of dragonflies
skimming over the water
in search of a cool drink…

Just like us

And where else, but at the
public pool, might the natural world
so beautifully intertwine
with human kind?

We meet Miriam from Malta.
She is 80 years old, speaks five languages,
and has met the Queen.

My son splashes water at Miriam,
and she retaliates by splashing back.
She tells us all about her world travels,
but mentions nothing about
what it is like
to live
surrounded by water.

Somehow we know

The dragonflies
flit and sip
flit and sip

Just like us

We are all
ancient water dippers
in late summer.

Elizabeth Salper

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