Swing-set

It was your day.
We went for a stroll
to while the time away—
just like you, to keep it simple.

The sun was glaring at us
and we’d left our shades at home,
still, we roamed along
the new cement that lines the road—
listening to a jay’s shrill cries,
as if to say, happy birthday.

I was keen to fool around,
running across the road to the
green playground,
where old-time swings
hang waiting to sway.
The seat was soaked,
from the night’s rain.
I wiped my sleeve back and forth
in the pool of water;
you whipped out a tissue
to mop up the rest.

It’s your day, you first! I laughed.
You were quick to settle in
to the rubber sling, your feet
rising from the sand.

I pushed the small of your back
with splayed hands,
and felt like a kid again,
waiting for a turn
to be the one having all the fun.

Up you rose, higher and higher,
flying back into your childhood memories,
where I don’t belong.

Those strong chains,
held on and I let you go,
pumping those legs like a little boy
with grass-stained knees,
rising up to the trees and sky beyond.

“Don’t jump off”, I warned.
You dragged your toes,
until the swing came to a halt,
and stepped away,
a fifty-four year old married man again.

Then, I grabbed the iron chains,
lifting my seat
into the black, rubber swing.
You stood and gave a good shove;
I drifted high into a dream of
hazy days when

it was my daddy
behind me.

Slowing down, I looked over
at the plastic slide
on the other side of the park,
recalling the singe of metal
on the backs of thighs
and felt the sting
of time.

Kathleen Mortensen ©2016

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Original Poetry Sunday: Entry #2

cheats Photo courtesy of Flickr

Thoughts While Lying in Bed on a Saturday Morning.


One day all this will have changed.


No more Daisy-cat

atop my head,

as I dream and drowse

here, on the bed.

The lass ‘cross the street,

turns Three today.

She’ll be all grown up–

and gone away.

The Eighty-six year,

gent, next-door,

won’t be weeding

his garden anymore.

No one up the road–

no voice on the line

none left to hear

no mother, mine.

Just you and I

in our quiet ways

playing music

of younger days

We’ll have put on

some weight–

lost some hair.

It won’t be great,

but I doubt we’ll care.

We’ll share our jokes

and tell tales, strange–

cheat time together,

though the world will change.

Kathleen Mortensen©2009

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Original Poetry Sunday: Wistful Thinking

sleepkidtoys Click for source.

Losing Sleep*


Oh! To sleep like a child again.
Those blessed nights, recall you, when ?
We wriggled into linen’s folds
Lay hot heads down on pillows, cold,
Flanked by bastions of fuzzy bears
Protecting us from unknown fears.

We drifted, swift into night‘s world
Of ice-creams, coned and sugar, swirled,
As blinking stars and lunar-eyes
Sifted through the clouded skies.
Our princess-fairies and cowboy-clowns
Battled, won and claimed their crowns,
Companions, all, ‘til break of day,
When, up and out, we’d charge for play.

What happened to those blissful rests
Why now is freshest sleep our quest?
No lifting off, to never-land,
Instead, we shift and squirm like sands
That run upon the shores of time;
No more the sweetest sleep, sublime–
Unquietness resides in mind,
To keep us captive ‘til we find
It’s nigh on new-born day, again,
And closer still to our world’s end.

Oh! To sleep like a child again.

Kathleen Mortensen©2009

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*Thanks to Lyn at Two Ghosts for the inspiration for this poem. Please visit her wonderful blog of original poetry and thoughtful posts.

For more of Original Poetry Sunday, visit these blogs:

Robert Frost’s Banjo
Amazing Voyages of the Turtle
Secret Poems From the Times Literary Supplement
Yes is Red