When I Was at the Swings by Boudia

Updated: 4 days ago


Facing the southeast corner of the park, with the KNOW letters visible in the background. Photo: Nacio Jan Brown

When I was at the swings, I would swing until the dark covers the sky.


When I went down the slide, it was a moment of fun.


11 years old, with my dad and my sister, one summer.


Going up to Telegraph almost every day.


My dad would support homeless folks, I met a few runaways there in the Streets.


One of the runaways was a brother figure to me and stayed at our place plenty of times.


We would stop at many stores of wonder. Annapurna, The Dark Entry, Rasputin’s, Amoeba.


Rasputin’s had pinball machines; I was almost a pro at that point.


The record stores had everything we wanted to watch with our eyes to entertain with.


Then lastly, we come to the park, to play with the swings, our autistic bodies in bliss.


That park was People’s Park.


People and police skirmish during a protest against the closing of People's Park to build student housing in Berkeley, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022.

Jungho Kim/Special to SFGATE

One day, the swings were gone. The slide was gone. It was history.


I knew from that day point on, something was wrong, something was about to go down.


Today, I saw the trees cut down, the garden ruined.


People mourning and tearing down fences. People arguing and people coming together.


Colonizers in Blue lined up as the soldiers for the University.


Tuitions funding the destruction of our kin and our communities.


When I was at the swings, I was in bliss, at peace. The swings are gone, and there was no peace.


Capitalism took that bliss away from me.


Colonialism took that bliss away from the peoples


Imperialism is where the world burns.

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