children

inexpert, hands roam
down sheets, paper wise
up, down and back again
sentences a flood of unknown

we cry, we laugh
our cheeks turn red with cold
with anger, with faith–
our hands plumb, feet soft

steps stumble on walls
rebounding sound, a percussing rush:
come and get me, come back
no, tell papa we’ll be home soon

our whistles the birds’ mimic:
cheeks full of air, lips swollen
with care; mamma, sing to me, hold me
kiss me goodnight, sleep tight

wails, tears, fake vomit on the floor
i just want to stay home
have a loving hand
run long fingers ‘round my head
rest my neck on her lap, close my eyes

hear words, out of books, impersonal
and make them ours, press them close
to our chests, hearts small
we run across pages and slide down snow

take my hand, my boney wrists
one each, wrap my fingers close
and raise your arms, feel my feet
rise from the ground, swing free
let out a joyous cry

we sing, we grow, we move on
from all the notes of our past,
all the fears
all still encaged deep inside

but we still fake, we lie to the sun
we take the moon as our lover,
turn our backs to the clock on the wall,
keep our eyes on the ground

we count down
to all the years left behind

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