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Passivhaus Love-Letter

In the infant pool multicoloured lights
twinkle under foot –green, violet, blue –
and a baby reaches a plump hand down 
through shallow water to touch the stars.
I’ve swum my lengths in the lanes and now 
drink coffee and watch as a woman 
learns to float in the twenty metre pool. 
She lowers herself halfway then jerks 
back up, clutching her heart. Her friend 
shows her again how to trust in water,
how to let it hold you like a child.
Meanwhile a white-haired woman
riding a swimming noodle like a horse 
gently cycles past. Her legs pedal 
through the moonish underwater light
with slow pale grace. Now she is doing
calf raises, holding on to the noodle 
for balance. Such beauty and perseverance.
Her breasts spilling over the cut of her costume 
are buoyed by the water and dancing 
by themselves. 
               I understand the tenderness 
of the learner pool, but the building 
is beyond me – how it orients south 
to optimise warmth, how it captures 
and gifts cool to the north-facing gym, 
or how the external thermometer 
with its exquisite sensors relays data 
to the building which then decides 
whether to open or close its louvres,
move or store heat – I swear it is a mind 
that thinks. It’s been designed to withstand 
the next eighty years. And what will you find there,
dear future swimmer? Some of the babies
splashing in the infant pool will perhaps 
be doing slow lengths then. Dear ones, 
I wish you perseverance and gentle effort.
I wish you health. I wish you love 
that responds like this Passivhaus -
that offers to cool or warm according 
to your needs; and I will the water 
to cradle your future bones while we 
who are here now sleep.

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