Monday, July 23, 2018

"The Silent Swing" by Lauren McBride

The Silent Swing
Lauren McBride 

"Empty" Watercolor on Paper
By J. Artemus Gordon
The little swing now hangs so still
outside my kitchen window sill
where children once went flying high
with bare feet stretching to the sky
while singing in serene delight -
now silence in the autumn light.

The faithful rusty chains still show
the signs where little hands did grow.
With higher reach, each left their mark
till time demanded they depart.
Time marches on. Do children know
how parents hate for them to go?

Bright, happy days too soon replaced
with lonely hours, routine pace. 
Parental duties done, complete, 
rewarded with an empty seat.
With children bravely on their way,
no hug nor kiss come close of day.

If only time could grant a wish -
to spend a day with those we miss, 
a day where songs and laughter last
and time stops rushing by so fast.

Poet’s Notes:  When our oldest child went off to college, my husband and I felt a gap in the family almost as if someone had died. There was an empty place at the table, an empty room upstairs, and an empty swing outside. It was my husband's idea to focus on the swing.

Editor's Note:  My son never had a swing, a circumstance that I deeply regret.  By the time I settled down and could afford a house of my own in Kansas, he was well into his teens--too old for such childish things.  Two years later, he was off to art college, and now he's on his own.  The only "silent swing" I have of his is the one above which he painted to illustrate this beautiful and moving poem.

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