Chest Pain

By Jennifer Cahill

A rope is pulled, becomes taut, 
within a “tug-of war” of emotions;
a photon light split; a jagged silver-white 
tearing and searing the sky.

The CHEST tenses, the shoulders curve, 
pulled inward. The dull fireworks,

stab of something you do not want, desire.
An illusion: the silhouette of a tree

in the wind seems to nod 
as it stands under a twilight sky,

to the Spirits;

to the ghosts of children, 
who climbed this backyard tree,

the one with rotting apples 
that seem to hesitate

as they cling to the branches, 
not certain if they want to fall,

but they must.

Summer colors are sketched with chalk, 
charcoal shades are as dark as a coal mine,

the daubs of sunlight are a tan yellow,
the apples are a green earth, with a ruby shine..

and the child swung on a white painted board 
that hung with two ropes from the tree,

the rope TENSE with the weight 
of her body. As the coral emblazoned sky

came closer and closer, as she swung
higher and higher…


Jennifer Cahill earned a Masters of Science in Administrative Studies from Boston College. She has published the poems The Foxy Neutrino and War in the Distance is Better with Arkansas Technical College (2020), and Dusk Colored Wings with The Voices Project (August 25, 2020); Gods Feast on Lost Moons with Tempered Runes (2020). She lives in Massachusetts with her cat ‘Tilly.’

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