Do you remember the feeling of the swing set, legs pumping, head tilted back, heart beating? I remember it well, and the moment of daring, of jumping off and flying through the sky, not knowing exactly how I would land. That memory  inspires this poem, but another memory as well. I was just four years old and I remember my mother telling me we would travel soon to Thailand to visit our family. We were standing at my bedroom window, looking out at the night and the swing set in our backyard. At four, that swing set was the edge of my world. I must have known that night that those borders were about to change.

From my bedroom window,

long past goodnight,

I watch the metal chains

sway in the moonlight.

Creaking the sound of air on steel,

bending lazily in the invisible wind.

I remember the power

of a summer afternoon

and take off:

the ground paces slowly at first,

then slides below me.

Legs pumping, heart beating,

I tilt my head back, look up:

the sky blurs by,

a sparkle of blue and sunlight.

Close my eyes –

fly through this life.

The arc of the swing is this world’s

revolution.

Air streams by, brushing against skin,

my stomach soars, then dips.

I jump off,

waiting for the moment

when body is at the edge of the sky,

suspended above my whole world,

and I decide where to land.

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