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Posts Tagged ‘childhood’

Everyone wants to fly.
Not as many by way of cannon fire.
As a child I had the pleasure
of seeing an unemployed batman
take to the sky. Not as grim crime fighter
but half-clown satyr. Knowing
only too late the man who dawned
the cape was desperate to feed his family
after falling from grace like a half-known satire
about Icaris. How the spotlight tanned the skin
pulling at the edge of a proud smile – his mask slightly askew.
A pause. Perfect posture. Then a bow. More
a hero in that moment then the imagination
of countless children. Myself included.
Whoosh. Wham. That was our batman.

 

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Waiting for Reality

What had ended as a game
had began as a puzzle
with grand trappings
of sharp angles
soft fabrics
and applause.

The difference was the patience
involved in gift giving.
One can wait so very long for their gift
unless others have it.
Snow fell on every one of my birthdays.

My mother ran out of things to teach me
while the oven baked our secret recipe.
500 million grains of sand having
filled my body at that point
and so much silence left
on the beach we shared.

I made short friends.
Of number height and magnitude.
Things you can’t say
because your mouth
is stuck in a smile. I long for the cool
numbness of the corners
when I can relax.

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Breather

Bending forward
she looked close enough to catch
her butt pressed
against the base of an enormous tree.
I was ‘it’ – and awkward long and skinny
limbs were horses driving a chariot.

The illusion of proximity
caused me to grow in size and strength.
Not enough to overcome
the recent changes.
She was tall and thick now like the tree
yet as flexible as the grass
tickling her bare feet.

The sun’s eyes bounced
off her tan skin. Like my eyes
bounced in hurried excitement.
Like dodgeballs bounce.
Like she bounced when she walked
or talked. Up on her toes with
a grin of energy.

I reached the base of the tree
and she was gone.
Like breath escaping
adolescent lungs
just a moment before you
can speak.

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Lessons

Before the balloon was let go
into the blue infinity
she said goodbye.
Not that the balloon wasn’t beautiful
or fair
but just that it was a balloon
destined to do precisely that.

The park was filled with others
bobbing in the wind
tethered to a parent
flying from tiny grass ledges
toward the blue infinity
but they all rotate around
her – mine.

The expectation of tears
was gravity to me.
Her daily present,
a sign that life is a harvest
of plenty,
was running into something
as it left us with nothing.

My assumption
was that the daily sign
had become the opposite –
a sign that life takes everything –
and so I held her
in silent expectation
as tight as a string tied around a tree.
But she didn’t cry.
She smiled and in a playful whisper
said: “It is free.
Watch it dance.
It it is dancing
for you and me”

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Only Once

He said,
it only happens once
in your life.
So be there.
Unlike the silence,
unbearable,
that was present
but never there
framed in white
and lace.
I was a child
filled with shyness
the remains
of dessert
still covered my face
and alone,
I was alone
Among my family’s arms.
I forget now
what I knew then,
that every day only happens
once.

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There was always room to play.
I remember it distinctively,
it was mid May
and the rocks flew from under my sneakers.
Now the image of a jungle gym
always makes these boats
sunken from age buoyant again.
I pass it in the park every day
the kids look like prisoners
and stare with their backlit eyes
while I make my way.
I make my way
as if it has never been made
as if it is not mere habit.
No memory will arise,
no image connected, to
make me remember this way,
just the echoing jungle gym
and the prospects of next May.

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Iconoclast

Growing up on a lake
it was easy for us to test
the buoyancy of every school
necessity from pencils
to protractors.
Between us we didn’t know
about origami or the pacific ocean’s
end, but we did know the news
could be folded when father had left for work.
The invading tides, relentless
as the end of summer, ate through
a picture of Reagan’s face.
A perfect circle showing teeth
drawn by some lifeless hand
dripping with ink.
The assortment of erasers
were too heavy to achieve grace.
We sent out little army men after them,
a search and rescue playing dramatically
against the setting sun like Ms. Saigon.
They too would be lost
to the relentless sea.
Changing to unmanned planes
we dive bombed the serene lake
with classifieds and obituaries.
Each plane making it mere feet
before a dramatic kamikaze
surrounded by imaginary pyrotechnics.

I read my news online now.
And live on a hill.

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