K. E. Duffin

Parkchester Playground

Blur of swings against the infant sky,
then brick, then sky again: two chains and a seat
twisting to helix and unwinding so high
above the restraining bar, to jerk and plummet

back, a slat hung above the trampled dust,
ready to be swung again by pump and kick,
grasping the chain’s icy lace, to thrust,
eyes closed, into the future’s thick

whiteness. Gone, the fugitive park below
where ancient ladies, like old chess pieces
of battered ivory, are inching home to rooms

whose tatting-covered tables bear cards from nieces,
chiming clocks. Then the arc starts to slow,
and I descend, Icarus above their tombs.