when we were kids     you loved to send me

flying     spinning     you’d grab my wrists     

face down in the grass     I’d giggle    with anticipation

as I got bigger     we’d start with a run    me running circles 

you spun     faster and faster   until my feet left the ground

you’d lean back    feet turning   our weight balanced

and I was weightless     the backyard

the house   the sidewalk   pine tree   maple tree

each blended into the other as the world

mixed and blurred            only you and I

crystal clear          smiling

          Mom’s phone call     a heart attack

          You’re not breathing   

Does the top know it’s spinning            or

does it believe the world is revolving around it?

sometimes we’d cross our wrists     I’d start face down

and as the world dissolved around us     you’d flip me

smeary green grass became bright blue sky   blurry clouds

sun so bright I’d have to close my eyes

the belly drop that would always accompany the sudden turn

          Mom’s second phone call     words distorted

through screams and tears   I don’t need to understand 

I just know you’ve once again sent me spinning

everything smashed together     I don’t know 

smeary green grass from blurry clouds

world so dark I have to close my eyes 


Author Bio:

Jason Melvin is a father, husband, grandfather, high school soccer coach, and metals processing center supervisor, who lives just north of Pittsburgh. Most of his poems come to him while riding his lawnmower around the yard. His work has recently appeared in A Thin Slice of Anxiety, Roi Faineant and others. He was nominated for Pushcarts by Outcast and Bullshit Lit.  He was named second runner up for the Heartwood Poetry Prize 2021. He can be found on Twitter @jason5melvin and on his website at www.jasonmelvinwords.weebly.com.