Apr 2013
What I know
about the tops of swing sets,
paint peeling over rust spots,
the arc of the swoop,
all the land falling silent,
the curve of the earth.

It was a moment
before gravity coaxed us back
down and physics hurled us up again,
chest out and flying,
having joy, having fun,
singing β€œSeasons in the Sun”
over and over and over.
We surveyed the concrete tunnels,
the sun-bleached dirt expanse
of second grade off Juan Tabo.

Within the year
we’d moved to cities of grass
and we flew
under the shade of trees,
over two levels of soccer fields
and a forest beyond that,
tetherballs obsessively circling
over spots of asphalt.
The third-grade boys
were already chasing birds
but we chose to fly, fly, fly.
Everyday our feathers rent flying,
wind-riding, sailing off the seat
and landing in the soft dirt spot
worn into the Missouri grass.

One day
my bird friend Laura landed on the root
of a big oak tree, hands first.
She stood up, dusted off,
and walked with southern poise
to the nurse.
When she came back that afternoon
she was grounded
in a white wrist cast.

And the boys caught her after that.
This was my workshop assignment this week, to write about nature in the vein of poet Mary Oliver. The closest I could get was to write about my childhood playgrounds in New Mexico and Missouri.
Mary McCray
Written by
Mary McCray
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