the children gather like
swans. necks loose & garden hose.
swing set at the edge of the park
where all the bicycle go
to decay. one is telling others
"i can swing myself over the bar"
& everyone wants to see her do it.
the children is me. no just the girl
but also the boys with ill-fitting shirts
& another girl who watches
from the furtherest distance.
legs pumping like oil rigs.
up the street construction workers
break open the asphalt in a secret search
for gold. a parakeet whistles
as brownies burn in the oven
of kitchen of the house next to the park.
the world is missing a beat.
she kicks at the air. images
knocking the faces off trees.
clouds reform to be less severe.
the children watch for hours
but become very bored. they wanted
to see the over--the moment the swing
& the girl's body finally whip
around the tall bar. no luck no luck.
the girl powers the whole town
with her efforts. the world could run
on "over." i tell all my children
to find something else to occupy themselves
but the watching is contagious
& i find myself more & more staring.
handfuls of mulch. an abandoned lawn mower.
what we really need is not a lower swing
but a higher swing. the more impossible
the better. swing scraping
the moon. oh little girl self
i'm sorry to leave you there
trying to get over. i'm trying
to get over too. take me with you
on the way down only. children
fall asleep standing up
like horses. the moon up & leaves.
this is mostly all my fault.
eventually it happens. she wraps the swing
round the bar but no one is
mentally present enough to notice.
it's unfortunate. she probably won't
do it again. i tell my children parts
to go home & try to invent good parents
& leave the park alone for a few weeks
before things are settled & gone.