John Grey


I always returned to the swing
and its rope-powered journey.
Sure, my father put it together
but, with the last knot,
the last clasp fast into the oak limb,
he abandoned it as totally
as if it had been a dust bowl farm.

I was the one who propelled it,
pumping and pumping,
with my arms gripping tight,
legs outstretched,
faster and faster, higher and higher,
until earth disappeared
the sky was below me,
and, fingers busy elsewhere,
my toes gave the thumbs up to gravity.

A hated hair-cut,
a lonely weekend,
an argument over music too loud
or a ‘thank you’ too soft…
anything could urge me out
into the yard, to the hard-wood heart
of that swing’s saddle.
Its welcome arc tracked my recovery,
aligned it with my peace.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Soundings EastDalhousie Review, and Connecticut River Review. Latest book, Leaves On Pages, is available through Amazon.