s w i n g s

By Noel Vanderbilt


Childhood was whirling swings
(Woosh. Whir. Again!)
and toes peeking out from worn-in blankets.
It was laughter skipping
from lips slobbering strawberry ice-cream,
and yellow lamplight on an open journal.

 

It was a red light in the rain at night
(Brake. Squeal. No!)
and circling flashers from a drowsy gray sky.
It was autumn leaves, crimson on wet pavement.
Whispered prayers on a hardwood floor,
over and over.


It was a lightning strike
(Flash. Crack. Where?)
over a green field rolling rich with hay.
Then,
an empty blue swing,
on an old oak tree.


And
childhood
slipped into misty memory.

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