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On the Swings
-- for Nat --
by J. Brian Long

It was as if we were both six years old,
while, years away, the world turned in
weary circles, time flowing in the metaphor
of the creek where cress swayed strange
in the current, and small, silver darts of life
fled from shadows. We materialized
like ghosts from the forest, stood stoic
and sleepy in winter's spell, but mine
was broken when the little black box
in my pocket screamed numbers, and I
traveled time, shedding youth like skin,
chilled by the breezes that pushed the swings
as we drove away, rattling different chains.

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