Shelley Widhalm

Posts Tagged ‘Poetry Contests’

Poem: Dad’s Swing Sets

In Poetic Inspirations, Writing, Writing Poetry on May 3, 2015 at 5:00 am

Entering poetry contests is a risk, but I was glad I took it when I entered the “Battle of the Bards” poetry contest hosted by the Poudre River Library District in a neighboring city.

My poem, “Dad’s Swing Sets,” which I wrote in 2013, was a finalist in the adult category. The finalists in all the categories, based on age, read their poems at a poetry reading, Friday, April 24, at the Front Range Community College library.

The finalists’ poems will be printed in the 2015 Battle of the Bards poetry chapbook and a free library district e-book.

Here’s the poem:

     Dad’s Swing Sets

      Shelley Widhalm

Under an oak tree

is where Dad built the swing,

two ropes and a board.

Dad’s hands on our backs,

feet touching the sky,

or seeming to,

matched with giggles

“More, more,”

Dorothy’s red shoes

lighten my feet.


At our next house

when we’re too big for pushing,

he gave us two swings,

cross bars, a rope, a trapeze.

Hours we laugh,

sunshine to our growing.


Dad digs all of it out,

four yellow grassy spots a reminder

of his building, fixing

swings wherever we live

to take us up to the sky

and back again to his hands,

long fingers, calloused,

strong, beautiful

to me.