Sunday, October 7, 2012

Let Go and Swing!



The Nurse said ‘don’t swing so high’.
There’s the sun. 
There’s the grass.
Jerk the chains.
I want out.
I let go.

It wasn’t always the projects. Or was it? We kids didn’t think so. We had too much open space. Too much freedom. Too much space to dream in. If the lawns, yards, fields and park weren’t enough, we had the creek, canyon, and wild orchard to lose our minds in.

The park was simple. It had a merry-go-round, a semi-circle basketball court, a set of swings and a nurse to watch over us. I don’t remember any of the nurses’ names. I just know they were there when any of us fell down and got hurt. They would tend to us, stop our fighting, whining, cursing and crying. They would have toys for the really small kids; balls for the grade school kids.

It was discovered that one fat nurse didn’t wear panties while picking up the small kids’ toys. All the grade school kids got the really small kids to drop their toys all over the park so we could look up her dress. This went on for days. I think she knew; in retrospect.

Geronimo! Us boys would jump out of our swings. I can only recall one kid actually getting hurt. He didn’t know how to roll when he hit the ground. Idiot.

For me, I wanted to fly and be above it all. Above the screaming mothers, above the drunken fathers, and above the hypocrisy of the portrayed life on 1950’s television. I would swing higher and higher, higher and higher, but I wouldn’t break the swing barrier… I’d only let go in my dreams.

We were all in it together. Black, white, boy, girl, smart, dumb. We pricked our fingers and pressed them to one another. Blood brothers and blood sisters. If you can escape, take your shot. No one is holding you back. Run!

My chance came after high school. I got away, but I left my mother. Hitchhike to the west coast and then back I came. To be near my mother or my family at least. I don’t know.

Sometimes we think we’re grown and know it all. We’re still just babes; on the swings trying to go higher without hurting ourselves. We think we are smart, but we are just trying to be safe. 

Free and safe until our Ancestors come and shake us to our core; waking us up; telling us to get a grip, get real, and realize that none of us are safe until ALL of us are truly free.

Let Go and Swing!
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