Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Claire in a Swing

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Baby-becoming-a-child,
where do you go,
rising and dropping back
like a pendulum?

Not joyous as I'd thought
after your eager cries
at seven a.m.
of "Park!" and "Swing!"

Instead of reaching out
to embrace the tilting world,
you retreat into yourself,
a faraway look on your face,

as if suspended from heaven
by a tether. Here is echoed
all your changeless swinging:
serene, you rise and sink

in crevasses of air.
I'd keep you back a while
but you have already flown
out of my arms.


Anne Whitehouse is the author of the poetry collections Blessings and Curses and The Surveyor’s Hand. Her novel Fall Love can be downloaded as a free ebook from Feedbooks
or Smashwords. Her chapbook, Bear in Mind, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. First chapters from her novel Rosalind’s Ring and her new novel-in-progress can be read at The Santa Fe Writers Project, where they are finalists. Her daughter Claire, about whom this poem was written, is now 17 years old and still loves to swing; she has selected a photo of herself in a swing for her senior yearbook picture.


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Anne, I could see the baby Claire so clearly in my mind's eye, not just the corporeal Claire, that is, but her particular, enigmatic and beautiful spirit. Tamzen
I know the swing well....I`m proud to be part of her life and continue to do so love always Paul
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