The Swingset

Grace Walton

Wood rots,
ropes fray,
metal rusts

memories stay.

It stands there
deserted in the midst
of many times climbed
and swung from.

Sometimes it was a ship
escaping from the storm.
Other times, many times,
it was the convertible a friend and I
drove to McDonald’s.

Now years of playing cease.
It’s just the goal for flashlight tag,
where people sulk after losing
preen after winning.

At times I want to shed
my childhood,
but somehow I can’t cart it away
to the dump, where
swingsets are shredded, where
times past
can’t ever