This poem was written durting the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Playground

Playground

dark brown eyes
scanning dusty tarmac
a boy on a swing

head down
mouth humming
a boy swinging intensely

before dusk he must go
to his grandmother’s house
on the edge of the city

alone on a swing
thinking on a swing
a boy

his mother will stay home
she won’t go to the shelter
people here are afraid of shelters
they remember last time

the chains of the swing
they clank they creak
the boy’s head fills
with explosions

a boy on a swing

from The Shadow Knows - Poems 2000-2003 (Bloodaxe, 2004), copyright Adrian Mitchell 2004, used by permission of the author

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