The drooping leaves of the eucalyptus
were moss-green, not grey
as in the photograph, and the towering branches
would have been tinged with copper.
Black and white, she clings
to the sharp diagonal of the swing
at the farthest reach of its arc.
Whoever gave the swing a push
and took the picture is not shown,
not even in shadow. The child’s
shirt would have been blue, with stripes;
the jeans, well-worn, the color of
forget-me-nots. The girl on the swing
has her back to the camera.
She is looking up ahead
and you can see the edge of her face
lifting—she may be laughing—
but her shoulders are tensed
against the unknown.
Her feet, tightly together, look big
in their sneakers. She is
slight of hip but pudgy of waist.
Crowning this moment
was her riotous halo of
uncombed golden curls.