Terry Collett

Gold Star - 23,271 Points (13/12/1947 / LONDON)

Swings And Slides - Poem by Terry Collett

And she likes to ride
on the swing and rise
higher and higher and
see beyond the hedges

and see houses and trees
and people passing
and wonders if it's always
so and as she rises higher

her hands gripping the
ropes of the swing she
feels her stomach turn
and turn and remembers

when her mother's new
boyfriend pushed her
on the swing a few years
ago how he would say

how high you want to
go Celia? and he'd push
her higher and higher
and she called out I'm

frightened slow me down
but he just stood there
laughing and waving his
hands and gawking at her

legs as she went up and
down and she tried to slow
herself down but he just
pushed her high again and

she said I'll tell on you
pushing me too high but
he just shook his head
and pushed her instead

and then once he felt he
wanted to he pulled on
her ropes and slowed her
down and put his hands

on her thighs and squeezed
and held her there for a
moment or two staring
into her eyes and said that

wasn't too bad was it?
And he grinned and she
wanted to say something
to her mother but never did

and when she got home
she said nothing and just
went to her room and stared
out at the park with its swings

and slides and the innocent
children laughing and smiling
and full of joy unaware as
she was then and knows now

how touches and suggestions
can end the innocence of
childhood in a single moment
once and for all and to no good.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012

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