You’re So Childish!

What follows is my response to a young lady
who witnessed my actions, and said
“You’re so childish!” as though it was a bad thing…

Pondering over images
which make not an inkling
of sense to any other,
these sights mixed with
laughter hiding
under cover,
The childish laughter fondly forgotten,
rarely tapped for its vibrant source,
compounding into something rotten,
I have chosen a different course.
This well, this spring of childhood splendor,
not discriminate to either gender.
This source of virtual raw energy
that all too many see as a stage,
for me, this is not something which has
come to pass, but is still in everything that I wage.
Remember when all your worries could be counted on one hand,
and you felt you could, in any way, leave your mark,
you would explore each unexplored land,
and still have to be home before dark.
Remember when playing mattered more,
and romping through a field,
to find the most perfect rock or bark,
which could be used as a shield.
Remember when a friend staying over for a night,
seemed to make all the difference in the world,
because even with a lack of sleep, it meant you might,
get in the last pillow to be hurled.
Remember when cartoons were all you’d watch,
and you’d never never wish to grow old,
in the treehouse, or fort, the initials were a notch,
and you cherished each story you were told.
Each pet was your dear friend,
and, at times, the only one with whom you could talk,
when it seemed that time would never ever end,
and wherever you were going, you’d walk.
Camping out in your own backyard,
yet seeming so very far that you were free,
staring up at each star, I thought it not that hard,
for that, one day, to be me.
For some it is harder to remember,
for such things are too far in the distant past,
for others, each and every December,
is treated as though it were the very last.
Remember some of the things you believed,
for, at the time, you couldn’t have any better knew,
do you remember feeling relieved or deceived
when you found these things not to be true?
Remember running through the sprinklers,
and dancing in the rain,
when, no matter how bad the scrapes and bruises,
mom’s kiss could erase the pain.
Remember when you did not even know what an alarm clock was,
and the world seemed all the more lively with you in it,
still being able to hear each bee that did buzz,
as you gallantly existed each minute.
Remember when you’d look in the mirror just to make weird faces,
not sure if they would stick, and you would forever keep,
when the only thing between you and flying were your undone laces,
and you would laugh yourself to sleep.
Remember fireworks having a different appeal,
as then, they more splendorously lit up the sky,
when bikes were motorcycles, each purchase a deal,
and everything was a ‘why?’
For too many spend their lives wanting to be older,
and refuse to, in childish affairs, mettle,
rather than live a life that is, in any way bolder,
they would be all too quick to settle.
Remember a lot of things for which you were fond,
whether playing with Legos, or fishing on a pond.
Remember then, how much more pure life seemed,
when anything was possible if it could be dreamed.
Remember dressing up as the King and the Royal Court,
and everything became a game of some sort.
Remember how easy it was to fall asleep on grass,
and the welcoming warmth of each grain of sand,
when it seemed like a tragedy for a minute to pass,
and the best times were the ones completely unplanned.
Remember the child that you once were,
this soft-nosed, rag-tag, invincible being.
now many of those years may seem a blur,
as you long to, through those eyes, be seeing.
When coloring things in books seemed to bring things to life,
when each stuffed animal had a name and a voice,
when, between mint chocolate chip and marble fudge,
represented that day’s toughest choice.
Just try to remember all of these things,
I realize it, for some, is difficult in this world so vast,
try to remember what each of those memories brings,
as though unlocking the treasure chest of the past,
For some people inevitably grow up,
and completely lose their side which was once wild,
but if you remember just how happy you were,
you can touch the heart of a new child.
For now, when I roam through each forest,
I do things I might never have guessed,
every travel is still a magical quest,
and each day is absolutely not like the rest.
For me, this is not at all something which has come to pass,
even when many tell me to act my age,
for I still remember explaining why my baseball broke the glass,
and, tis’ as such in everything I wage.
For in whatever I’m taking, and whatever I’m giving,
I drink from the well of memories and that magical part,
because, as for me, the only ones truly making and truly living,
are those who remain childish at heart.

Written during a siesta, instead of resting,
at a host family’s house in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico
during the summer of 1996.
Read aloud on a bus, to her, while traveling to
the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the moon.
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Being heard, stirred, and perhaps cured by life's many hidden images and the written-spoken word.
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