The swing’s rotted cradle
now a darkened beetle den;
one thick molded rope still hangs,
knotted long,
like the life
I get to live.

What I didn’t know then
was that we are each given only this,
our temporary life—
hers so soon dissolved
into pain, baldness
and eyes unseeing.

I remember us swinging
laughing in an old New England grove—
wooden plank seat
brown jute rope

And here
two thousand miles from her grave
angry waves toss thick foam balls
that jig and stumble,
pop their way up the shoreline
as they’re welcomed
without reserve
into misty gray-hued sky.

Gulls shrill shrieks
are their songs,
and mine?

Mine are wails
throat-choked with memory—
that swing

between the grace of acceptance
and this necessary grief.

Nancy Diamante Bonazzoli, D.Min., is an Oregon poet, writer, and Zen Buddhist Minister. She earned an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the Fielding Institute and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Mathew Fox’s University of Creation Spirituality. Her work has been published in various journals, as well as in the anthology Sacred Voices: Essential Women’s Wisdom Through the Ages, edited by Mary Ford-Grabowsky, and she is a past winner of the William G. Doody Memorial Prize for Poetry.

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3 Responses to Swinging

  1. Fred Grewe says:

    What a beautiful soul-stirring poem. Does the author have any collections of her poetry published?

  2. Nancy B says:

    Yes, Fred! My bio neglected to mention my recently published book, Absolution, which is available to bookstores (Ingram Sparks) and on Amazon. Thank you for your kind comment! Nancy

  3. Nancy B says:

    Link to Absolution on Amazon:

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