A memory poem

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The Swing Tree

 

News is the old swing tree is down.

Lies full length in the river its toe tips showing.

Only the root bole and a crooked arm waving.

 

The bank is calm, empty of boys.

Each summer they came trying the rope swing, the jumps,

to scare themselves daring higher each time.

 

Each jump was named, charged with its own danger.

The first, easy, Fairy then Wendy to Twigamala where the bough bulged out.

Fourth, which meant an extra climb, was Kuntekinte.

 

Getting higher now, the great Obi One

till highest, where the big boys played, though knees trembled as they jumped,

was Gandhi.

 

The river boiled with screams and laughter, rippled and splashed

to the green banks, to the hot leaves. No more.

Quiet now, the old swing tree is down.

 

 

poem and photograph Rose Cook

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for National Poetry Day on October 2nd

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When his mother died, Seamus Heaney

wrote a poem about folding a sheet with her.

 

So many days I have lifted sheets

from the line with my own mother.

 

She taught me the way of folding.

Together we would dance to and fro,

 

handing the cloth to her as she made

the final fold, a pat and sigh,

 

that slight smile to meet my eye,

then on to the next.

 

I never wanted it to end.

 

 

poem and photograph Rose Cook