This will be the last summer of the red baby swing
hanging empty from the black branch
battered by april wind
waiting for the child
who has grown taut
and writhes to be put down
to run

The willow too
will come down this year
her extravagant boughs arcing
down like ballet arms
ignoring the aging of the body
as her core rots away in orange dust
and pale green lichen covers her bark

but still
the rhubarb shoots rise
hot pink, reptilian
bubbling up in shiny mounds
like brains
like flowers
like sponges full of holy water

they unearth transparency
pushing aside the frail gray leaves
and establish themselves

making their magnificent return
beneath the cold blue sky

Katie Schnorr is a second grade teacher. She lives on the outskirts of Kolberg in Southern Door County with her husband and two young daughters.