Swimming with Pregnant Ladies


Since the publication of The Prophet of Shattuck Avenue, I realize I’ve sorely neglected my blog here. I hope to rectify that going forward.

I’m presently in the research phase for my third and last “angel book.” My working title, which most likely will stick, is The Saint of El Camino Real. The main character is Heather Campbell, daughter of Emily, who has just started college.

The historical background for the story goes from the Roman Empire, to the Spanish Inquisition, to the California Missions (hence the El Camino Real part). To educate myself, I am reading a couple of books. The first is The Spanish Inquisition, a History by Joseph Perez. The second book is A Cross of Thorns: The Enslavement of California’s Indians by the Spanish Missions by Elias Castillo.

I imagine (hope) the book will see the light of day sometime in 2020.

In the meantime, I am editing and posting some of my earlier writings, just to “get them out there.” This includes a memoir I wrote about running away to Mexico, a few plays and screenplays, past blogs, and also some select poems and short stories.

I’d like to start out with a poem: Swimming with Pregnant Ladies. This was inspired by impressions gathered at the Community Center pool in Campbell, California. I was working nights as an adult education teacher. During the day, after dropping my daughter off at preschool, I’d go swimming.

Swimming with Pregnant Ladies

Their eyes beam at each other
As they ease themselves in.
As if bringing delicate odd-shaped packages
To some sort of gift exchange.

They bob and buoy through the water
As though to tell their babies
Of their eagerness to be with them
— A call to come out and play.

One young mother
Wears a two-piece.
Her navel protrudes down into the water
— A soft blip on her smooth southern hemisphere.

The light sifts down
Though shafts and shades of chlorine blue
Her skin glows a creamy yellow,
Supple and sensual.

They congregate at the end
Laughing, not swimming.
Their sleeping children
Rumbling in wonder.

© Harry Steven Ackley


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