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Swingin’ from the Poplar Tree This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.


When green armies and blocks still lined
my bedroom floor
And the greatest days were still hot
Texas summers
There was a great black tire
Swingin' from the poplar tree

When the sun hid 'hind the clouds
In the cool dark dusk light
That tire was a rocket ship
To take us anywhere but here
Swingin' from the poplar tree

Or when the door slammed hard
Late at night
And harsh footsteps pounded the
floorboards
And Momma herded us into the darkness
We'd run out to the tire
Keep swingin' from the tree
till the shouting quit

Left that crippled house at sixteen
Found somewhere where bread
outweighed booze
But when Poppa got too drunk for his
wits and his shotgun
Momma cried for the first time since July
But night 'fore blue jays sang in
the spring
Broken bottles covered more than fresh
fallen snow
And the house had softened for the night
Heavy footsteps and weighted whispers lined the blanketed sky
Whispers morphed to angry shouts, lost
to screams
And that was when I ran

Past Poppa swearin' in the barn
Raced past the tire
Why then I left I don't remember
Maybe instinct maybe more
But 'stead of tire, rocket or both
Not a tire but someone by a rope

And still now 'fore I sleep
Dark as night
Rocking softly, slowly
Swingin' from the poplar tree
I scream

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the March 2013 Teen Ink Poetry Contest.




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Dancing2222 said...
Feb. 26, 2013 at 12:07 pm:
Wow! That was very well done. I loved how you brought your own personality and the way you talk into your writing. It made it more personal:)
 
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