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The Swing

Poet: Hilary Hares

Tell it like a story, tell it like this -

that there was pink milk in an apple-tree playground. That a bigger girl in a dirndl
skirt lifted you into the small, square swing and pushed down the wooden bar
to hold your legs tight. That Miss Withers came and swung you higher and higher,
up into the canopy. That there was sun. That apple-blossom twirled like ballerinas.

Don’t say you heard the scream –

that another child was falling, blood, all the grown-ups running, the lesson-bell …
the playground suddenly evil with silence, the swing going
slower and slower
slower and

Don’t tell how it felt, how the swing became a trap - rope-burns on your arms,
raw welts on your legs for days; that there was scolding and tears, no more sun.

Hilary Hares lives in Farnham, Surrey. Over 200 of her poems have found homes online and in print including Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Interpreter’s House, Magma, Stand and South. She has an MA in Poetry from MMU and her collection, A Butterfly Lands on the Moon sells in support of Winchester Muse. She won the Christchurch Writers’ Competition 2013 and Write-By-The-Sea Competition 2018. Red Queen, a new pamphlet, is available from Marble Poetry.

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