She shrieks as she sweeps past the earth
And, rising, pumps for all she’s worth;
The chains she grips almost go slack;
Then, seated skyward, she drops back.

When swept high to the rear, she sees
Below the park the harbor’s quays,
Cranes, rail tracks, transit sheds, and ranks
Of broad, round silver storage tanks.

Her father lacks such speed and sight,
Though, with a push, he launched her flight.
Now, hands in pockets, he stands by
And, for her safety, casts his eye

Over the ground, examining
The hollow underneath the swing
Where, done with aerial assault,
She’ll scuff, in passing, to a halt.



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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 23 Number 8, on page 27
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