Bright Leaf Swing


I swing back and forth
back and forth,
the air swooshing by me
reeking of autumn.

I swing for those short moments of weightlessness,
of almost-flying ecstasy
almost freedom.

As a child
I used to swing higher and faster and higher
convinced
that with enough inertia I could jump
over the playground
over telephone poles and streets
over the clouds
and into the oblivion of the sun.

I never had the courage to jump.

I feel old, now,
used, abused by my own dreams
that got me nothing but mist--
clouds dissolving into cold, wet reality.

There is so much I would give
to believe again, as I swing back and forth
with flat, yellow leaves tumbling around me,
that there is some redeemable force
in the world around us
that will deliver poetic justice
and freedom.