Posts Tagged ‘swings


Just Like In The Old Days

It was a long summer afternoon in the middle of February.
Like when our parents used to shove us out the door-
“Get some fresh air! Go! Play! We’re going crazy with all these kids in here!”-
And you couldn’t get back in unless there was blood or you had to go to the bathroom;
All we saw the rest of the day was a pair of hands at the back door passing items through
(Like Thing from the Addams Family- which I won’t explain- and did I tell you a child asked me about playing Kick the Can on the Internet? Not via but virtually.)
A ball might be handed through the door,
Towels if the sprinkler was on or- if we’d been good- towels and clothespins
So we could play Batman and Superman and woe is you if you got stuck as Robin.
Tuesday we didn’t have Popsicles or towels;
It was only fifty degrees. I can’t remember the last time I saw a clothespin.
We had rocks that no one was allowed to climb on-
They’re on a playground for Pete’s sake!-
And a supposedly decorative red rowboat without an engine or oars
That, despite its newness, keeps falling on hard times and has to have the engine repaired
Or to be rowed to somewhere very far:
The Philippines or the 7-11 to get some Popsicles or to get Dad some more smokes.
We had sidewalk chalk to be used on sidewalks only.
Rainbows of chalk
Dragons of chalk
Blue spiders with fourteen legs but still only two eyes made of chalk.
And we had the swings that can still take you higher, higher, higher…
“Push me till my feet go up in the sky by that airplane. Okay then, how about until they’re above the monkeybars?”
There was magic dust in the sun;
Hardly anyone fought and no one really cried.
Until their parents arrived to pick them up to make them go home for dinner
Then they bawled and said, “Please, two minutes more” just like in the old days.


Russell Blair Is Swinging Through The Day And The Night And We Don’t Know If He’ll Ever Come Down

Russell Blair is swinging through the day and the night
And we don’t know if he’ll ever come down.

It was 3:45 and just an ordinary day
But things were gonna get weird in an unexpected way.
We went over to the playground, slid down the slides and climbed on things
Then I saw Russell Blair walking over to the swings.

Russell Blair is swinging through the day and the night
And we don’t know if he’ll ever come down.

The swing was a little high but he climbed on with a thump
Then he asked the teacher to show him how to pump.
She gave him a push, said, “Stretch your legs forward and pull back.”
She didn’t know how quickly Russell Blair would get on track.

Soon Russell Blair was swinging through the day and the night
And no one knew if he’d ever come down.

The teacher called the class to come over and line up
But little Russell Blair just continued to pump.
“I’ll take the class in,” said the teacher. “You’ll have to stay and wait.”
“I’ve got dinner at seven,” her aide said, “I don’t want to break my date.”

But Russell Blair was swinging through the day and the night
And who knew when he’d ever come down.

Russell’s dad came to get him and the teacher gave her report,
“I’m afraid if you check the attendance, you’ll see we’re one child short.
Russell is on the swings and we can’t get him to stop.
Please take this blanket for my assistant. I’m sure her goosebumps are starting to pop.”

Russell Blair is swinging through the day and the night
And who knows when he’ll ever go home.

Russell’s dad went to the playground and called, “Time to go home, son.”
Russell said, “Two more minutes, Dad. I’m really having fun.
I am a little hungry so you face north cuz I face south
And if you toss fair I can catch some Goldfish crackers in my mouth.”

Now Russell Blair is eating on the swing in the night
But can he drink before he has to come down?

Russell’s dad got a space heater and a super extension cord.
He plugged it in and dragged it next to Russell’s swing in the yard.
That’s how his dad made sure no matter how high Russell goes,
When he’s on the downswing he has a chance to warm his toes.

Now Russell’s tummy’s full and he’s got heat for the night
But if he falls asleep, he’ll surely come down.

When school opened the next morning, Russell’s swing was in the air.
We could see the rosy sunrise painting streaks on his black hair.
The cook came out and said, “Russell, this is a mistake.
We’re having peaches and sausage for breakfast plus your favorite thing- pancakes.”

Russell Blair’s been swinging through the day and the night.
Will it be pancakes bringing him down?

Russell said, “Save me some pancakes but you’re really out of luck.
I won’t come down unless you guarantee me the green truck.
Teacher told me yesterday, ‘Tomorrow, you’ll be first’
And I’ll stop swinging only if she brings the truck with her.”

It looks like Russell Blair’s been swinging through the day and the night
So when the toys came out he’d be first in line.

Russell’s teacher came to the playground and she said, “You goofy boy.
I can’t believe you’d stay here all night swinging for a toy.
I haven’t been here long and so I guess you never heard
That when it comes to kids and toys I always keep my word.”

And Russell dragged his feet then first the left then the right.
His teacher caught him when he stopped and slid down.
I saw him walking, swinging hands with his new teacher, his new friend.
He says he trusts her, no more swinging at night.

That’s the story of Russell swinging through the day and the night.
He’s eating and driving now.
That’s all.