Swing Song

With curious hope, with pain
I’ve tried to catch what I used to be,
Floating beneath the locust tree
At our prairie farm, on a rain-cured plank.
………….I’d sound out clouds, and fly
…………….With the birds, swinging so high
………….I kicked the sky

And it kicked me back. The branch broke
And I landed on my shoulder blades and tail,
Fists still gripping still-hitched rope,
And I heaved and heaved, the sky opaque.

………….Locust tree, you meant no harm,
…………….So I swing here from your other arm,
………….Still your fool, your pendulum.

Jesse Nathan

Jesse Nathan

Jesse Nathan’s poems appear in The Paris Review, Kenyon Review, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. He’s a lecturer in the English Department at UC Berkeley, and lives in Oakland.
Jesse Nathan

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Author: Jesse Nathan

Jesse Nathan’s poems appear in The Paris Review, Kenyon Review, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. He’s a lecturer in the English Department at UC Berkeley, and lives in Oakland.