It had seen many years of laughter, tears and of grazed shins,
The old swing in the old back garden of my old house.
Cemented unmoveable into the ground by my Father,
And once painted royal blue, or maybe it was post-box red,
But eventually flaked to an almost uniform earthen rust.
In the years before school we would spend hours around it.
The hot Summer days and balmy evenings seemed endless,
In those carefree and joy-filled days of childhood in my head.
Ever-dared and spit-shaken to swing always the highest,
Tho none of us truly got beyond that fixed second bar.
We were so young, and if we were honest with each other,
The third was much more than a little frightening for us,
In our own tiny world we imagined, in those innocent days.
Protected within ochre-bricked garden walls and flimsy faded fences.
Hidden from prying neighbourly eyes and nosey curtain twitching,
By crimson Fuchsia-bells and pink climbing Clematis.
Yet as but a few years passed, the old swing broke its seat,
And the chains fell apart with ankle wrenching suddenness.
It became a swing in legendary name and doe-eyed memory only,
But our world had forever changed, into youngsters from baby eyes,
And so this simple rusted now unused frame, grew as did we.
Covered in sheets with a pipe out front for a gun, it became a tank.
Where we fought off all foes who dared to invade our kingdom,
In heroically and courageous childlike ways, we swept all aside.
Once we rescued an old umbrella, cloth-frayed and spindle-bent,
Discarded and earwig-ridden in the shed since last Winter.
With that as a propeller and wooden planks for shaky wings,
Flying to unknown lands, soaring high into the sky we crawled,
And after many hours of dogfights, always defeating the Red Baron.
Another time we all had bamboo rods and a tablecloth sail.
Bravely fishing the seas around the Gower until it became dark,
Hoisting our lines in and dropping anchor when supper called.
Our favourite was always when we were mischievous pirates,
With a parrot fashioned excuse, Joey my Budgie needed fresh air.
We took his cage out and hung it high on the yard-armed frame,
Cardboard canons and nailed swords copied from books,
Sailing for weeks on end, the seven seas our new playground.
Sinking galleons and capturing eight-pieced treasures unbounded.
Burying our spoils, always in the same spot next to the apple tree,
We were not very good pirates as we all had eye patches and hooks.
Sadly there came the day, when no matter our dream-scraped adventuring,
The rain and sun and rust defeated us, and the frame fell defiantly apart.
We would still sneak to play, as parental eyes were cast elsewhere,
But we were a few years older now and so we had out-grown,
Our world becoming bigger still, more than my old back garden.
Journeying now to our new hidden dens, thick-set in local parks.
And to the beaches and rolling dunes, the swing sadly forgotten,
Resting, buried now, and mapped with a new X, a treasure all of its own.