The Pool

The girl listens and counts: A truck. 6 cars. A bike. The doppler-effect of their passing floats along the breeze from the highway. This side of the buffer wall, palm fronds stir and wave at her on the balcony, their leaves dancing out a rhythm that will never quite be repeated. She sits alone at a glass table, watching as below her the family pool is dismantled…

He works methodically. One piece each time: test, lift, snap, discard. The pieces drop into the wheelbarrow with a clash that seems inappropriate for the quiet of the afternoon. As if in protest, a cockatoo rises from a nearby tree and squawks into the distance over the freeway. At least the traffic’s hum is consistent; it offers no apology for its intrusion into the afternoon…

The son lifts his face to the window as a breeze drifts in, his eyes adjusting to the light through the criss-cross of the flyscreen. With a glance he takes in the now-green waters of the old pool. Recognition that in its lifetime it never once became so coloured almost slips through the back of his mind as he turns to the bread bin…

The mother enters the kitchen to clean her son’s mess. She watches her daughter on the balcony and her husband in the yard. All moving parts to be juggled, schedules to be matched. A memory of days spent together in the pool rises on her features. Another crash from the wheelbarrow. The girl on the balcony rises and walks inside.

“Tea?”

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