Beyond the Pale
My pigment’s nonexistent. I make pale look dark.
For me a frolic in the sun is no carefree lark.
First I goop on sunscreen–the higher strength the better–
follow all the time limits to the very letter.
Then I wear long leggings and cover up each arm.
I would not let my hugging things come to any harm.
I wear a hat with floppy brim to cover up my face.
Use a strap to keep it on during a rapid pace.
If I go swimming I rely on a high-necked long-armed top.
When it comes to sun control, I’m my own solar cop.
The one time when I slipped control and forgot my restrictions,
I sorely paid for each of my solar derelictions.
I was in Canberra, visiting a friend
with only three short days before Australian days would end,
We’d be off to Bali, to Singapore and more–
exotic places that would form a part of my life’s lore.
But first we had two hot dates planned for swimming in the park.
My date was blonde and tall and cute. Deirdre’s date was dark.
We spread our towels out in the sun and talked and laughed all day.
Rarely did a stranger have so much to say
that I wanted to listen to. We swam, we ate. The sun
rose and set that day as we were rapt in all this fun.
It wasn’t ’til that evening I discovered my mistake.
I should have spent less time in sun and more time in the lake!
My skin was burned a vibrant red–purplish in spots.
All the hues my body sported seemed to be the hots.
One blister spread from hip to hip–an enormous bubble.
Another one across my chest spelled out bigger trouble.
Two days in the hospital and others with my friend,
the trip to Bali much delayed while waiting for my mend.
Two weeks later we set out with a heavy load
of backpacks packed with all the things needed on the road.
Medicines and duds and hats and books and other notions.
Needless to say, much of my load was comprised of potions:
sunscreen, sunblock, sunhat, sunglasses and long-sleeved shirt–
all the things that shield the skin from all solar hurt.
They have so many products now to keep one sunburn-free.
Oh that I had had them then in nineteen seventy three!
It was more than forty years ago I lived this sorry tale.
Ever since I’ve lived my life unequivocally pale!
The Prompt: Beyond the Pale--When was the last time you did something completely new and out of your element? How was it? Will you do it again?