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Icarus and Eve in the Playground


In the beginning their see-saw is balanced
with naked toes still weighted down,
brushing the sprung recycled ground. Then Icarus sinks into

a seat-drop
knees-bend
shove

and takes his sister by surprise. In the air
she grabs the cool-curved bar in front of her,
a red-lady, scarlet-woman, pinkish colour, then

sudden drop
her knees jar as
soles hit the rubber

 and Icarus is sailing against the sun-riddled sky.

Jealous, Eve kicks off again,
makes sure to pop his arrogant grin.
He plummets to Earth and now she's perched
all queen-of-the-castle and here-to-stay
 until

 it's not long before they realise
 that they don't know how to stop

 each child wails
 a helpless terror
 as they brutalise each other
 (muscle spasm)
 flight
 then
 plunge
 and the sharp slap of feet
 taking off again


Catriona McLean