That Other Middle Age
And I would like you to go
A half life back
And remember that other middle age.
When you hung from the doors
And swung below the arches.
When your hips swooned in wordless ecstasy.
Before the negotiations---
Before sight and the comparing mind---
Before the exclusive whispers, and
The rustle of gum wrappers
Before that spit ball flew into your lap
And stilled your hands.
(Somewhere in here adulthood began and never left off
but right this second the playground swing is at its highest.
See how the toe of your sneaker grazes the green oak leaf?
You have a second summer coming and I want you to jump
Right into it.)
It’s time to wake up now.
Remember the arm stretched for answering.
The uncontrollable elbow of the irritating girl next door.
If you remember what thugs children are in transition.
Their blundering affection.
You’ll know the state of your own heart now.
Wake again. Of course it hurts.