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     “The Swing”
 
She sat alone
in the dark
squeezed into a
playground swing
more suited for
a preteen kid
then her twenty-two
year old ass,
the glow
and noise of
the small party
only a little
ways away
on her
horizon   
coming into focus
on her upward
strokes
on the swing,                                                
two guys
and two girls
standing around
in a city
park
over a BBQ
pit
filled with scrap
two by four
pieces
and whatever trash
one of the
boys
could find to
stick into the
fire,
she pumps her
legs
a couple of
times
the swing gaining
enough height
to let her
feel weightless
for that split
second
before she starts
falling
back to earth
the shrill laugh
of one of
the girls
cuts through the
“Whoosh”
of the air
rushing past her
ears
as she swings
alone
in the dark,
the park seemed
much bigger
back then
when they use
to hang out
here
during high school
killing time
and telling stories
or maybe her
ass
was just smaller
back then,
she thinks
to herself
about that
new revelation 
as she tries
to readjust her
position
in the seat
she has to
be at work
in the morning
the best thing
happening
in her life
right now
is that brief
moment
at the pinnacle
of each swing
her body
feather light
with all her
fears
safely below
her,
her eyes catch
two of the
party
splitting away
trying to find
a dark corner
of the park
to call their
own
as the other
guy
keeps burning
trash
with the girl
still laughing
at whatever odd
piece
he puts in
everyone doing
what they can
to escape life’s
little pressure’s
at least for
what’s left of
this night,
the hour’s getting
late
she pumps her
legs harder
the girl now
sticking strange
things
into the fire
as the boy
laughs
the sounds of
the other two
muffled at times
but leaving no
question
as to the
degree
of their closeness,
she has gotten
the swing
to its maximum
height
the chains going
slack
for a full
second
before catching
the weight
of her body
on its way
back down
she times her
release perfectly
closing her eyes
before reaching
the apex of
the arch
then right as
the chains go
slack
she jumps,
eyes still closed
all alone
flying away from
the swing
into the dark,
and for the
first time since
high school
she felt free…
 
     Tom Allen…01-20-2019…