The Swing

The measured sawn board,

sanded seat parallel

to the rise where the sappy roots dive

two ropes, worked through the holes,

knotted and plum.

My father pulls the swing,

leans back over the edge of the world,

grasps the ropes with hands

as scored as the inside of our wheelbarrow

the toes of his boots dig into the stubbled grass

behind the dirt patch launch.

Legs tucked, elbows bent,

a rocket ride

promised to aim

straight for the smiling sun,

the giddy countdown

and then

the push, as we move forward together

the rush of the under duck,

my legs unfold

reach to the robin’s egg sky above the pine bough

back to the bursting forsythias

back to him.

.

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Black-tipped Lynx Rufus

bobcat sandwich, nh

It catches my eye as I walk across the room
tawny spots, gray tinged slink across the snowmelt
right, left, right, left – like pendulums to her clock
clawless tracks of a wildcat, a string of calling cards
for the squirrel, the vole, the quick snowshoe hare
and here I stand at the slider, aware, my desk a cache

my camera zooms, focuses, clicks, hunts her down
she licks and preens, lithe and lynx-like in the copse
a crowned queen on her throne of stone, she’s alone
paws retract now, tuck in against the cold, eyes half-close
under gray sky, undercover in her coated mantle of instinct