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She's not the type that jumps off swings
But clings to the rusty chains and
Drags her feet in the wood chips to stop,
Squealing when I tease her by
Twisting close on my swing
I watch her dismount and
Step gingerly away:
I pump my legs and lean
Backwards way way
Way back so far my long hair sweeps
The ground and I look
Behind me and the world's upside down
Down down, or am I upside down
Then swinging up-up-up again and swooping
Downwards almost crashing
To earth but I don't, I just swing up-up-up
Again and I can see nothing but
The sky above me and the chains
Go slack and I am weightless for one
Lifting second, not sitting in the swing but on
Sky then forwards backwards
Forwards it's all the same, just
Glorious movement, twirling and
Tumbling around and a
Round, side side over–watch
The poles!–and
Circling again and again. dizzy dizzy dizzy then I
Realize the only thing preventing me
From flying is the chains so I
JUMP, leaving the unimportant
Swing behind in one soft blurred instant,
Jumping off swing and into sky,
Just sky and soaring
Off into air, only air
Around me, lifting me up-up-up
And I wonder, is this flying?
Nothingness becomes
Everything around me air is
All I am
Then ground is here, under me,
And I am running, one foot then
The next, helpless to stop, can't
Stop, just running. I
Stagger, head still, but
World spinning. She tells me I'm
Crazy, but I know better,
She is the crazy one-not jumping off swings
Denying herself that air-feeling
The instant when you lift off
The swing and just lift, rise-
You haven't fallen yet, you're
Going up-up-up and being
Dizzy doesn't matter
You are all
And sun in your eyes and
Life becomes nothing but
Simple happiness.

swinging nicole guenther
Nicole Guenther, 12
Vancouver, Washington