Wednesday August 10th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the lifeguard.

The bakery was pretty much sold out of everything by 10:45 this morning, at which point I moved away from the till for the first time since we opened at 9.

That's ridiculous, just for the record.

Hopefully the people who got there early enough to get things got enough to last until at least Friday. Otherwise they'll all be back for more tomorrow...

Oh, the lineup started before 8:30. I thought I should mention that as well.



From atop my tower
I can see
All there is to see
In this sea
Of mostly naked bodies
Who have
Come here to be seen.

I watch for danger
In all its forms:
Choking, drowning,
Sharks -
Both in the waves
And on the sand.

For in a crowd
Like this,
Full of folks intent
On fun and sun,
The greatest danger
Is, always
And forever, Man.


Greg said...

That sounds like a great start to the day! Two hours of non-stop work and then nothing left to do but tidy up and turn people away! I wish my work-day ended after just two hours :-D
Just as an aside, I wonder how customers feel knowing that they have to get to the bakery half an hour before it opens in order to be able to buy stuff. I think I might be annoyed if I were a local.
I like the first and last stanzas of this poem a lot, but the second stanza feels a little weak to me. The lines about sharks are great, but the preceding ones don't seem to help the transition from the first verse ("what I can see") to the last verse ("where the real danger lies"). I really like the idea and the structure, but I just feel like I know you can improve this -- I may have been spoiled by your poetry in the past.

The lifeguard
The smokers outside the hospital door move grudgingly aside as the paramedics approach. The clouds of blue smoke above them are more reluctant and the paramedics are coughing before they're through them and inside the hospital itself. The doors clatter shut behind them, and they ease their pace a little, slowing down the gurney they are pushing and moving towards the lifts at a gentler, but still urgent, pace. The lift doors open, and there's a man inside already who smiles.
"Mr. Asmodeus?" he asks, and as every head on the floor turns to look the lift doors close.
"Most people use my title," says the man on the gurney. He's swaddled in bandages to the point than an Egyptian mummy would be envious and his voice is muffled by them.
"I'm your lifeguard," says the man in the lift, unperturbed by the correction. "I'm here to see that you stay alive while you're in this hospital."
"Very generous, I'm sure," says Asmodeus. "Why do you assume that my life is in danger? I am immortal."
"A precaution," says the lifeguard. "You'll be aware that Asphael went missing two weeks ago?"
There's a pause, the kind that comes when someone is thinking. Then, "Asphael is an angel, of course."
"Immortal, still."
"I see."
The lift doors open, but this is not a ward-floor. The corridor beyond has potted plants at regular intervals and the doors are discretely labelled with the ridiculous names given to conference rooms. The paramedics push the gurney out, and one of them taps Asmodeus on a bandaged shoulder. As the lifeguard sends the lift back down to the ground floor the bandages split open and a besuited, amused demon steps lithely down from the gurney and checks that his pinstripes are all straight.
"Come on then, lifeguard," says Asmodeus. "Let's go meet the boss."

Marc said...

Greg - I imagine a lot of people do feel that way in the summer. But they do offer the option to place orders ahead (with four days notice, due to nearly everything taking three days to make due to the sourdough starter). I imagine we'll be getting to the time of year where those locals who can't be bothered with the crowds of summer start returning.

I agree with your thoughts on mine. I think I had a good opening that I really wanted to keep, couldn't figure out a middle, but still could see an ending I wanted to get to. I'll try to get back to that middle stanza some time, as re-reading it now it bugs me a lot.

Wonderful imagery and details in yours, as usual. I could picture it all so clearly in my head. And I wouldn't mind picturing some more of it, should you have time and inspiration to tell us what comes next :)