Swing Set

by Julia Rampen

The garden constructed our swings; scaffolding

that once bespectacled the house became a skeletal

tent, spelling out an iron alphabet. A letter


for each of us. We kicked away the earth, tipped

the world on its axis of falling blue skies,

and hurled our heads against clotting clouds.


I flew up to places no adult could reach; mosaics

of leaves, sun drafting emerald light in a great

lace umbrella. The city of blackbirds. Then


fell like a heart so curls scratched grass; blades

and blue spirits in a tea party where every rule

was bone china. Shadows winging the lawn-


and up again. A rag doll of elements; winded

by air and aching sky, I’d see the street below

rearrange itself, and pause to catch my soul.