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Yesterday was years ago?
It seems like just yesterday we
Were shoving our bags into cubbies.
We relaxed our bodies on a cot for nap time.
We’d close our eyes in pretend sleep, because our
Hearts were far too anxious to actually sleep when the
Room was practically made of toys. But when did that
Sliver of anxiousness turn into anxiety that fed on our
Fear instead of excitement, explode into social awkwardness?
Not long ago the lunch room wasn’t a war zone.
There weren’t any bullets whizzing past us; their desire
To attack our feelings and bring pain. There wasn’t ignorance sitting
At every table. There was only happiness.
It wasn’t so long ago we were afraid to go into Halloween stores,
Because to our young and immature minds everything was real.
Scary movies navigated their way to our dreams; polluting
Them with the scariest faces; turning them into nightmares.
Our desire to crawl into bed with our
Parents was stronger than anything we’ve ever
Felt because even our stuffed animals couldn’t protect us.
I swear not long ago sixteen seemed as far as the stars.
Sixteen, and we thought we’d be able to
Tell which way our future’s North was. But North, East,
South, and West, to me are still directions
On a map. The North of my plans hid
Behind the theory that the moon followed my car;
The idea that the sun goes under water and holds it’s
Breath, while the moon comes up to inhale our fascination,
And the stars shine because of our wishful electricity.
It’s childish, I know, but at sixteen you’re still a kid, yes a kid.
A kid who’s on the edge at risk of falling into all the
Possibilities of the world; a world known for breaking people
Or making them; a world known for swallowing people whole.
You’re at risk of falling into your failure or greatness. Yes, you fall,
And that’s not your choice, because when you grow up, the rules of gravity
Finally apply to you. It’s your choice if you want to land or hit the ground.
Sixteen, and I thought I’d be flying, but I’m still sitting on this runway, waiting for
Yesterday, we were playing tag with our friends;
Today it’s with our future, but we’re not It, and
That’s scary, because there’s no Base; no time outs; no time
Was it really years ago we were playing with Barbies and cars?
It can’t be that long ago we imitated adults. Our imaginations
Plagiarized the ways of being a big kid, because we just wanted to
See how the words of a life that seemed so far away fit into
Our essay of childhood. But now the future’s here and
It’s pressing all of our buttons; hacking into our nervous
System, and initiating panic attacks.
We are the big kids with little knowledge of what
We want to do with ourselves.
It wasn’t long ago that Rubik’s cube was only a game, and
Now it’s our life. It was only a few years ago when we
Had to distinguish between our left and right.
We had to know which letter came after P in a jumble
Of twenty six letters.
Now we have to know if we give the
Right of way to division if we are addition.
We have to know if it’s okay to subtract the people
That used to be close to us, and still are, but only because we
Can hear them whispering behind our backs. We now have to install
Ourselves into growing up and accept the fact that world we know is the same
And we are different. Our perception has been altered by job applications; finding
Four out of two plus two, but in some complex manner; stacks of books that seem
Higher than Mt. Everest when you have to climb them to
Avoid the ground of stress. Growing up, I swear to you is like slamming on
The breaks until you crash.