The Old Swing-Set [Poem]

That old swing-set
was young when I was young,
its shoulders fresh painted
and its swings not yet deep rust-set.

We made fast friends,
that old swing-set and I,
though he sometimes threw me from his shoulders
knocking my knees and dusting my hands

That swing-set’s hands are splintered
and I visit my old friend with calloused hands
to find his swings gone and his paint chipped
from when I was away those many, many winters.

I climb his side with a book in hand,
as I once did when I was younger,
and I read all afternoon with my old friend
in the shadow of the boy I was – now a man.

At DVerse, the prompt today is to write a poem recalling some specific thing or things from the past OR more generally about what evokes a memory or memories in you.

Photo by Tobias Kebernik on Unsplash

To Live Forever [Short Story]

If she had a name once, she had long since forgotten it. Two years ago, she signed away her identity to join human trials to solve the troublesome issue of death. They had not told her that to solve death they had to induce it many times because the scientific method demanded that their results be replicable.

The first time they killed her was not so bad. The second and third times were harder. By the fourth time, she was tired of coming back. Still, the experiments continued.

Every night her mirror reflected a faceless shadow. After two years, the experiments were declared a success. She was, beyond a reasonable doubt, the first immortal.

She traveled the world with company representatives to tout their success and sat in the front row as the scientist who had killed her 731 times accepted a Nobel Peace Prize for his work. As he took the stage, she began to cry and a reporter later wrote that she was crying with joy.

The faceless shadow from her mirror walked up and stood beside her as she cried. It leaned down and whispered to her in her own voice a language of death that only she knew. It told her it would never leave her side, as long as she lived.

For the rest of her life, and she is still alive somewhere, her death remained incarnate, cursed to live, wandering a pace or two behind her wherever she went and whispering in her ear the truths she did not want to hear.

Photo by Blake Carpenter on Unsplash

Parts Unread [Poem]

That quiver at the corners of her lips,
that nervous tick, quickly covered,
that first hint of an expression
only squinting eyes can see,
spends as much time simply being
as considering
what its purpose might be.

That uneasy moment once begun,
so quickly undone – but never truly undone –
is enough for me to know that with every word she speaks,
her silences grow,
filling in the sound with silence,
our conversations with ghosts,
our intimate moments so quickly coated in dust and comments unsaid
that it is quickly becoming impossible
to read the parts of us still unread.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Map Maker [Poem]

The world could not be ever as it began
untouched by the hands of man
once humanity began

long before she bit the apple
the snake had taken up its residence
behind her ribcage
though she did not know it

when the ark was built
human hands
counted two of each animal as they passed
gate-keeping the future from the past

The man in the clouds
with the fierce hawk-eyes
saw all of this and more
long before he bent his back to this most recent chore

With sure hands
unshaken by the sands of time
he draws lines across dunes and deserts
and low valleys
over high mountains
and along rivers
and sometimes through them

When his time was done
the world had become many from one
and he gave no thought to what man would see as signs
that these lines were drawn sacred and divine

Photo by Marjan Blan | @marjanblan on Unsplash

World’s End Pt. 2 [Poem]

I return to the beginning
at the end of it all

before the fires burned
and put themselves out
out of spite

before the sea spit
on the shores in disgust
and swallowed the sun whole

before the future
laughed at me
as though it knew something I didn’t

before the past
sang a sweet lament
for what I would become

before the present
devoured itself
and the whole universe collapsed inward

There is no precipice
no ledge rising up over the darkness

and I do not even remember how I arrived here
at the doorway to world’s end

The doormat reads: Break in case of fire
and the past present and future laugh with me for a moment

Two pale arms reach through the door to greet me
embracing me as their own

at the end of it all
i return to the beginning

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash