David O'Connell

They’ve always got it wrong.
Not snip
but fray. Think braid
not thread, though in each
of three thick strands a trillion fibers
wound. True, each snap

is definite, but in which dark night
did all those lines
that spider from your eyes
steal out? Of course
you do not feel my work
before it’s done. All afternoon

you’ve watched them launching
above the river, the swing,
on its own, returning.
When you close your eyes,
bare toed on the slick bank,

your whole tentative body
on the least vibrato
of that music you’ll know
only when the rope goes taut
and finally
you trust your weight.