Graduating From Swings

girl on a swing

Was it was only yesterday
our feet kicked the clouds?
We left college promising
we’d never get old —
pretty little liars.
Said we would never pass
up a swing. Pumping our legs
high, walking on sky.

We were reckless drunks
with fragile hearts.
Chased boys and dreams.
Graffitied our cabinets with
songs and quotes,
profound and poetic crap,
said things we never meant,
wrote things we never understood,
sang songs without listening to lyrics.
Too young and wild to care.
Unapologetic youth.

I held my heart
in my hand as we ran
through night,
howling like thieves, slurring
tender fragments of who we
thought we were. Who were we?
Tearing through parking lots.
Not mentioning it in morning.

You had so many secrets we laughed
away, buried them deep inside the walls.
Shiny little slivers of ourselves,
adding our story to the transient dump
with a faceless landlord
and a neighbor who yelled Chinese.

We sold our furniture and slept on the floor
and hit the playground hard our last night,
swung so high the chains ached and buckled.
We never talked about the night you came
home and stayed in the shower for hours.
We didn’t talk about what happened,
or the mistakes made, or the addictions
created. That was in the future.
We swung high in the air, scrubbing the sky
the way you did your skin.

And years later,
I pass by swings and think of you,
wondering if it was worth the ride.
If it was worth the silence and all the
rehabilitation it took to get back to the
slate blue sky.
Yes, we kicked the clouds then,
we just never thought
they’d kick us back.


10 thoughts on “Graduating From Swings

  1. walt walker

    Ditto what Marissa said. This is fantastic, I relate to it, takes me back to college and the fun that turns into habits that can destroy you if you let them. Fun and dangerous times, wonder how anyone makes it out sometimes.

  2. Debbie

    Wow, another powerful one, DD! Certain statements (and no, I won’t say which ones!) give me pause — did you live my life, and if not, how could you have known?? Oh, yes, yesterday indeed!

  3. ramonawray

    Wow, what a punch the ending packs…! I got a twitch in my gut – well done, DD! Just when I think you can’t possibly get any better, you come out with this!

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