Swing

All the treasures in childhood
like sparklers on Fourth of July

sparking memories of campfires and
bullet pops to pass the summers by

Tucked in by Hans Christian Andersen
sweet dreams in a yellow canopy bed

Flying with Peter Pan and pixie dust;
cartwheels, back flips, standing on our heads

Boat races in the pebbled park stream
baseball games and matchbox cars

filled our days with other lands of pretend
until the sky was filled with stars

Snapshots of our nostalgic youth
flown quickly by on a butterfly wing

None of them quite as special as you and me
smiling and swaying on the old oak’s tire swing

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Soldiers for Love

Her best friend is eight.
Wants to be a soldier
she says.  A sadness in her heart showing
through the patina of her disquieted face,
clear brown eyes as deep as ancient Camelot
cast upward in search of an answer
to war.

She worries about everything,
especially this blonde and blue
soldier boy.
She knows the smell of bloodshed.
She has lived this war before–
little old soul packaged in seven years
pale skin, auburn curls, sprinkled a golden gossamer
burgundy lips speaking ancestral prose.

She can tell us our past, but
does not know our future.
She understands, but no longer remembers
how the worst in us returns to earth
in the red blood of children, spilling hatred at our feet
still

we fight the other, words to guns, holy books to missiles
we fight ourselves, words, separation, starvation, deprivation, and guns.

She sees the best in us
comes from love
for the blonde and blue-eyed soldier boy
with the freedom to choose his own way
to fight
for love
with words
or guns.