I watch my little brother slowly swing.
His legs, too long, dig deep ruts in
the soft black earth. He frowns and shifts
as old, rusty chains bite his tender flesh.
He pumps as hard as he can, the swing set groans
in protest, and no matter how hard he tries
the stubborn swing won't let him soar the skies.
We wince together, both of us trying to live
our lives in places that do not fit anymore.
At thirteen, Ted no longer fits the swing.
My swing, the place I call home, pinches too
and makes me want to find a new place to play.
Somewhere that I can soar, instead of drag
my feet in soft black earth and dig deep ruts.
We feel the same uncertain fright growing
inside us. Joining him, I tell him not
to worry, it's all a part of growing up.
The advice is more for me than him. I pump,
yet can't resist the uncomfortable pinch - home.