The Swing Set

Trey Moody

The first thing you texted me

that Sunday morning I stared out

at thirteen inches of snow, the snow

I piled into conquerable hills

rising from the corners of the yard

forgotten, that Sunday morning

the dog warmed the silence

of my bare feet so I could see

the neighbor’s maple buds

marooning the off-white sky

and regard the foolish desire, foolish

even this lonely time of year,

for color — when your name

brightened the phone’s cracked screen

the first thing you texted was

I dreamed you asked me to write a poem

about a rusty swing set. Later that Sunday

morning I remembered the image

from the sad film you stopped

watching in which two characters

are driving through upstate evening

snow to the boyfriend’s family farm

when the girlfriend looks into

the passing bleakness to find

in the empty expanse sprawled

before a long-abandoned homestead

the absolute redness of a gleaming

swing set. That Sunday morning

I didn’t text you a description

of something that cannot be

found. I said now you have to write it.

Maybe you are. Like love, that

sudden rush of color out of nothing

but inertia, offered here —

I can give you this. I can give you

that. I cannot take anything away.


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