Variation on a theme by Philip Larkin

This isn’t a rebuttal of Philip Larkin’s This be the Verse (see my previous post), it’s a meditation on that theme.:

Aged 7

                        You grip the rope with fists

and thighs. I pull you back,

high, high, then let you go.

You swing and spin wildly out over the stones

and logs, laughing, reckless. I cringe,

imagining greenstick fractures,

hangman’s fractures,

clutching your body.


But the knot seems tight

and you love it and what are the chances? And,

I think, this is what I’m supposed to give you.


So, once again, I pull you back,

then let you go.


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