Hammock


Those years were not–and indeed none of 
my years have been or seemed–simple or easy, 
yet there was a summer or three after Granddaddy 
Roth brought us that Mexican woven hammock back 
from his trip—Che–cheen—itza: how we loved to say it! –
and Daddy hung it between two elms high up 
on a flat place in the terraced garden somebody 
else’s dad once had created with stones for borders, 
and Mommy had planted with coreopsis and zinnia, 
when I take myself and my clutch of library books 
up there, probably also a few Vienna Fingers or Pecan 
Sandies, and lie down inside it and let the soft sides 
close up around me, a kind of swaddling, and forbid 
whatever was harsh or frightening or could not be 
de-coded from the life of my days from entering 
that sanctuary that swayed and glowed a bit 
with the soft yellow light of its threads and rocked 
me into a place I need to find now.

published in aaduna, on-line, summer 2018 

-Patricia Roth Schwartz

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