When love and hate collide

“But I don’t understand how someone who said they love you can resort to this,” I said. At first he looked genuinely surprised by my naivety, twirled his pencil and said,
“If there is one thing I have learnt, it is that for some people the line between love and hate is a very thin one.” And to this day I remember this when I try to understand how people who once claimed to love each other, now stand at war, prepared to do anything, everything to destroy, obliterate the other, even when the other is the mother or father of their children, despite that. You cannot claim to put your children first in a situation like this, no, you are serving your ego, your need for revenge (as if it will finally bring you peace). You may think you are winning.
You stop paying the children’s medical aid, despite the agreement you would and their mother finds out for the first time when a child is admitted to ER. She knows that taking you to court will cost more than her just taking over the medical aid. Stand proud man, you won that round. The crowds applaud.
You trash your ex husband in front of everyone, even the children. You concoct lies about who he is, what he is done. All is fair in love and war you tell yourself. He is a loser, look what he did to us (I am the victim – I tried everything to save this). Your children are torn in two.
Stand proud woman, you are a heroine. The crowds applaud.
But one day those children grow up and they will ask you the very same thing I asked that court clerk. And when you see the trauma in their eyes, you will realise:
you ultimately lost the war.

Copyright Hiraeth 2016

Swing

Tractor wheels and carousels,
Children screaming in enjoyment,
I sit alone on the swing
And no one notices,
So I swing
Higher,
Higher,
Hoping someone will see me,
Take an interest, want to know me,
But they never do.
One day, whilst watching them play
I start hearing words,
Rhythmic, rhyming strings that sound
Like a symphony to my soul
And they become my companions,
My comfort.
Later at university
I realise there are
Many others,
Each one on their swing,
Comfortable on it,
Swinging high and creating beauty
And I know
There is a place for me,
That
There
Always
Was.

Copyright Hiraeth 2015
PAD Challenge 2015 Day 17:
For today’s prompt, write a swing poem. Sure, there are park swings and mood swings; there’s swing music and swing dancing; and there are swingers. Some people swing one way; others swing another. In politics, there are swing votes and swing states. And many people have swung a bat, an ax, and/or a hammer in their lifetimes.