Posted by: Richard Bergstrom | September 9, 2011

Playground – A Poem

Playground by Richard Bergstrom


Back and forth

Back and forth

I loved it — I was free

When I was on them, I would fly

Higher and higher, until I touched the moon

Or the swing went completely over

And I would hang upside down

A kid again


I am climbing the ladder

It only takes three steps these days

The big kids used to do it in five

And I am on top

Standing, I am on top of the world

My World

And I see everything and everywhere

I sit down and edge forward

“Torpedo Away! Look out below!”

I launch myself forward

“Warp speed! Target dead ahead!”

I finally reach the bottom and walk away.


I walk past the monkey-bars

Domed steel where parents hung their kids

Like Christmas ornaments and watched them

play “Tag” and hang like spiders

Magically shooting, saving, and living with each other.

Their parents stood in the background

Towering over the playground

Their sighs now mirror my face.


My favorite was the merry-go-round

I grabbed on the outside rod

I only needed to use my left arm now

And I ran around and around

Counter-clockwise five times

As fast as I could

Faster, faster, almost the speed of light.

I jumped on and it stopped


The school bell rings

Once, twice, third time’s the charm

I sit on the teeter-totter

And watch all of them come out

They head away as fast and free as possible

Biting the Lemonheads that education serves them

The younger kids run to the playground

To play until their parents arrive

They run to the slide and the swings and the monkey-bars

And the merry-go-round

As I watch the rust, grime, and age disappear

The playground is alive

And I remember

And wonder


And the parents come

The memories flooded me again

They look so familiar…

Over there, it’s.. No it isn’t.

Many shadows haunt me

Recognized by my heart, not my mind

I do not know them

I accept it

It would be impossible

Only my imagination


Five kids run up to me and giggle

I don’t know why

Five kids huddle and laugh with each other

I don’t know why

Five kids grab the other end of the see-saw

I know why

Five kids try to pull me from the earth

I know why

But five kids can’t do it

I know why

And let go, all five stop trying

Because I forgot how to fly

They said “Thanks for letting us try, mister”


Please feel free to check out the new post “Simply Enjoying Sabremetrics” at 

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