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Playground Games

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I promised to hold your hand
tight
while we swung on the rusty
swing set at the playground.
I told you that if we fell,
we fell together,
but only after giving that rusty
swing set
one try.
Or two.
Or eight.
Your hand somehow always managed to slip out of mine though,
no matter how hard I held.
But I always tried to understand
why your sweaty palms always conveniently slipped
or
simply let go of mine.
So, I’d let you run and play
with the other kids at the playground.
During your childish escapades,
I’d just swing and
stare at my shoes as I
kicked the dry dirt.
Every once in a while,
I’d catch a glimpse of you running around,
picking up new play buddies along the way.
All while I sat on that rusty swing set,
waiting for you to come back from
your playground adventures,
and just hold my hand as we gave
slow,
careful
swings.
After getting used to the
slow,
careful
swings,
You’d try to go
faster
and
higher,
but that baby blue sky that you were
reaching for was unattainable,
because you could never
hold onto my hand
long
or
tight enough.
So in my head I would wonder…
“How long until we crash back to earth?”
That question sometimes escaped my mind,
and I would just enjoy
holding your hand,
until you gave me,
better said: left me
the answer.
Those lonely days on that swing set
gave me a lot of time to think…
“Why don’t I have the will to just
get up and walk away?”
Answer is:
I don’t want to hurt you when you see me
Go down the slide with someone else.
So please,
Tell me:
“What is your secret?”
How can you let go of my hand and
walk away from that swing set
without looking back,
and fill the spaces between your fingers
With a hand that’s not mine?
How do you so easily stash the memories
Of when we’d swing high enough to
breathe in heaven
in your back pocket?
And pull them back out
whenever you want?

Unlike that reliable swing set,
I do have a breaking point.
And that breaking point that you
knowingly past
can’t be fixed with a sweet smile
And a couple of light pushes on the swing.
Truth is,
I’m too big to be playing
playground games.
No more hide-and-seek for me,
Thank you very much.
Go ahead and find yourself
another buddy
who’s going to wait for you on that
swing set,
because I’m done playing these
playground games.
I doubt you can say the same.

I’ve kicked dirt for way too long.
Now it’s your turn to go kick rocks.





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