The Swing

When I was six years old, I liked to push a swing so high

that all I saw between my lifted sneakers was the sky

and then I would let go the chains and jump, hoping to soar.

I'd land on dewy grass and jump right up again for more.

When I was twelve years old, a brown-eyed boy swung next to me.

In soccer, we were last picked; on the swing set, we were free –

until one day he turned his back and I was left apart

to push my shoes into the sand and out-swing my own heart.

When I am in my thirties, maybe someday there will be

a little daughter or a son who will be asking me

to push them from behind or patch them up after they fall

and by their smiles, remind me why I liked swings after all.

But right now, I am twenty-two, and really should stay clear.

The frame creaks and the chains cut through my hips because, I fear,

my backside is too big. What's more, my cell phone starts to ring

There's nothing quite so awkward as a grown-up on a swing.