Swings

Dahl (Waldo J.) Playfield, Seattle, USA. July 2014. Photographed by Lovely Taidy.
Dahl (Waldo J.) Playfield, Seattle, USA. July 2014. Photographed by Lovely Taidy.

Years of rust have accumulated in the joints.
The chains smell of rich iron.
Creaking. Rustling.
The winds are the source of sound.
Waves and waves can be heard from a distance, crashing.
The leaves hiss from a distance, as if saying psssst. The wind is coming.

The rubber seat dangles like a puppet held up by strings,
waiting for a master to make it alive.

It takes both legs to swing.
It always starts with a swing to the back,
slow.
Legs straightening to the front,
feet aiming for the sky.
Gravity pulls, a rush behind your ears,
hair in your face.
You’re looking at the ground,
and your knees are bent under you.

It always takes effort and synchronisation.
It takes familiarity and rhythm.
Before long, you alternate between seeing the ground, and seeing only sky.
Sometimes the skies are grey.
Sometimes the skies are blue.
Sometimes they’re in between.
During those times you know you’re at the climax.
You know you can get even higher, but the fear of gravity holds you back.

When you’re tired, hands bruised, biceps throbbing, hair rustled, butt sore,
your legs stop moving.
The momentum slowly brings you down,
but you don’t really notice.
Before long you realise that you’re completely still except for a slight sway.

The adrenaline is gone.
The wind leaves your hair and face,
as if refusing to play with you anymore.
It gives you a choice to swing up again and reach those heights,
or to simply walk away and resume your life.

After much reluctance, you know life needs to go on.
You get off the swing with a sigh,
with your fingers touching the chains last.

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