See-saws and the rest

by Zach Simons

Doors are opening like nails

pricking tiny points into limbs, she thinks

but nothing says. Oh, this is the time

of the coming, the future, the eyes strained ahead

to the one perfect rhyme and the rest

of the dead.


She says nothing of memories of parks

and her dad on the see-saw. For lollypopped years

weight gave him the firm upper-hand, but one time

a overdue growth-spurt left things in the balance.

Bit by bit she started to climb. There was silence.


All the sad sentiment, all the rusty old fears

she’d end up with a poet or (better) in tears

hurt the more. He slowly eyed up from below

what the babe had become. How she’d grown. And right there

sprouted that instant a newborn grey hair.


Now the landscape was changed. Now the light

that may once have been left on all night

won’t keep her safe.

The door’s opening, girl. It’s raining and dark

and the wind is blowing out the door, slowly,

disjointedly . . . you wonder

what it’s opening for.