Tipping Point

The kids twist
their angelic faces
into demonic grins,
then shriek
and run around
the old cottonwood
with the motionless swing
suspended by ropes.

The dog lopes after them.
Herds them
in accordance
with its breading,
but the kids
possess no herd instinct.

Still screaming,
the kids all fall down
as if at the command
of an unspoken
nursery rhyme.

A plastic bag
accompanies two tumbleweeds
that bump up
against the grayed fence
in need of paint
or varnish
and other work
I may get to next year.

From the porch
sitting on the glider,
the kids’ excitement and play,
though annoying and loud,
are the outcome of their world
where there is little to fear.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

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