Listening to every heart
Outside in a fall’s backyard to see
a tethered tire hung on a tree
swinging in the air, but totally alone
for no little child lives at this home.
The wind moans lowly in the rafters,
no child’s voice, no child’s laughter
ringing from the window sill;
fall brings winter, and winter’s chill.
I’m not so old that I am spent,
I know what tethered tires meant
to my friends and my children three;
I know what this swing meant to me.
A symbol of freedom in summer’s air,
leaning back dusting dirt in long hair;
heels kicked high touching blue sky
a hand in my back, pushing me high.
‘Round and round I’d go
when the tire was spun
for on the rope it would turn,
and I would be the one
to get dizzy first, and to the ground fall
oh with that tire, we had a ball!
We could climb the rope, and clutch periously
to the top of the tire, we’d hang to see
who was coming, or who had gone
sometimes we’d do it, three kids on,
but the swinging, the swinging so high
was the best way to reach summer’s sky.
I do not yearn to be that young again,
but God give me strength for when
my grandkids come for a push on the swing
and God, let those childrens’ voices ring!
1 October, 1999
Look, then, into thine heart, and write ~~~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow