Swing Me Close

by Natalie Jabbar

On bright, summer afternoons, I play outside while my mom works her magic in the kitchen. Sometimes my dad pushes me on the garden swing, pressing his palms against my bony back so that I can ascend higher than my knees can take me. He leaves me and goes to pick an orange from our tree, unpeeling it on his way back while I try to pump higher without him. As I feel myself losing momentum, he begins pushing me again with one, distracted hand. He eats the orange with the other hand, occasionally placing a slice into my laughing mouth as I descend from the sky. Even though he is pushing me away from him, this is the closest we will ever be.

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Natalie Jabbar is about to embark on her final undergraduate year of college and is flirting with dreams of a future in writing.