That Other Middle Age
Where 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 another summer coming.
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.
Of course it hurts.