Thursday, December 18, 2014

Girl on a Swing

She is alone, a woman or perhaps a big, ungainly girl. She is by herself in the park on the swing. It is a cool winter day, a touch of rain in the air, the sky grey.

Her garnet red hair floats like a nimbus about her head as she pumps with her feet, knees bent and then fully extended, toes pointing to the sky.

She wears baggy jeans and a jacket that rides up above her rump, cradled in the broad hoop of the belt seat. Her backpack and shoes are piled in the sand by the strong steel legs of the swingset.

I don't know how long she has been here, but as I watch, taking an afternoon break, she continues to swing without stopping, without slowing. She was swinging before I came out. She will still be swinging when I leave. The chains sing rhythmically in the shackles and hooks: up and back, up and out, singing ringing chinging.

She is not swinging for me. She is not swinging for the handful of toddlers across the walkway, playing in the sand. She is swinging for herself.