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November 29, 2011
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It was sad.
I wanted to cry, it was so sad. Looking at it I saw only memories.
Memories that were being washed away with the paint, covered over with the fine golden flakes of rust and destroyed like the swing itself.
That one plank of wood with holes either side, tied to the grand oak, on top of a grand hill in my uncles orchard fields, with two pieces of rope that swung back and forth when the occupant pushed away from the world and swung higher and higher till they felt like the sky was their new world.
I remember sitting there, holding onto the rope for dear life, you laughed when my feet never touched the ground so you pushed me, gently at first till you heard me shouting “Higher! Higher!” and you thrust the bottom of the swing with all your strength, sending it higher and higher.
I laughed.
You laughed.
The swing laughed.
“Hard to believe that a long time ago your mother at there and my father pushed her.”
“What did you say?”
“Our parents were sweethearts.” The swing creaked; it remembered Olive and Dax coming up the hill with a picnic.
“Well what happened?”
The swing remembered many a lover who had pushed their sweetheart on him and many a lover who had shared their deepest secrets, sorrows and passions on the hill, in the orchard where the great oak stood with a swing laughing.
“I’m leaving tomorrow, there’s a ship in port, I’m part of the crew.”
“I’ll be back, old girl. Wait for me?”
The swing remembered how Olive had moved into the embrace Dax held out for his love, how her cheek nuzzled the hollow of his shoulder. The blanket was askew as Dax pulled it around Olives shoulders.
“Where’s she bound?”
“New York.”
“What she called?”
The swing realised that he was day dreaming and the rhythm of his swing was lacking, and the occupant swayed side to side.
“My father met someone on the Titanic, a countess. She promised him great riches in return for a son. He was going to sail back to your mother and marry her, but you know the legend of the Titanic.”
“You were the son she bore?”
“My mother told me of my father’s origin, and that I should return and regale the stories to the women he loved. Tell her of what he planned to do.”
“What stopped you?” My eyes started to fill with tears, rendering her blind. The swing felt himself shake slightly as I tried so desperately to hold on with shaking hands.
“When I found your mother, I found you. My father did the unthinkable to make a fortune to give to-“ he turned away from the swing to hide his anger “-that women, and how did she re-pay him by having another man’s child.”
The picked up the gentle breeze and tried to swing its young player, wanting them to swing and not to fight. His attempts where futile and I dug my feet into the ground.
“My mother thought your father was dead.”
“Well he wasn’t when you were conceived! You’re a bastard child! I sailed from New York to tell you that! Were both bastard children!”
The swing fell silent. Stopped rocking and the rope began to snap, slowly at first but with a resounding thud the blank of wood hit the floor on one side and lay there broken.
We starred at him for a long while, wishing we had not fought so crudely. The swing began to weep as the rain fell, the red paint for the autumn turn ran down the hill like a stream of tears and you cursed at the skies and ran down the hill to the cottage home where the smell of mothers cooking could be smelt. I, however released the swing from its bonds and placed it under the tree to be dry and safe.
“Ill come back and fix you.”
But as the years passed people forgot about the swing, onto of the hill, where a grand oak sat. The wood became like a tomb stone for the happy memories and a finally resting place for those we would sooner rather forget.
The war approached and the last I saw of you was a picture of you waving out of the train window.
I went back to swing that day, there it was that little bit of wood where lovers once sat and it seemed to greet me as an old friend.

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