Poem of the Month: Snap the Whip by Millard Dunn

By Millard Dunn | Illustration By Winslow Homer (1872)

You know the game: everybody
runs hard as they can, holding hands,
and then the boy on the near end
suddenly stops, sets his feet hard
against the ground, and the others
swing, like a gate made of children,
swinging faster the farther out,
fighting centrifugal force now
to keep from being flung away,
flung out of the sudden circle this line of children has become
a radius of, and those farthest
out have to hang on for dear life.
What saves them is how tight they and
their friends can hold on, and for how
long. The farthest from the center
need the strongest friends.

Millard Dunn is the author of Places We Could Never Find Alone.