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I miss those years from childhood when we sat,
Feet drumming like heartbeats against brown boosters.
In those moments, the hardest thing for us to do
Was peel off the label of our favorite crayon.
Our math consisted of adding on jellybean to another
Only to end up with two sugary confections
Bubbling in our stomachs.
The most important though ticking in our heads was:
I wonder what is for lunch today.
Time meant summer cartwheels on freshly-mowed lawns,
Campouts with comic books and endless smores.
Friendship meant sharing the fireflies you spent hours
Searching for beneath a sky bowl of stars.
Life meant a silkworm emerging as a moth
From a split cocoon before fluttering towards the light.
Red was the color of fire trucks, not blood;
Christmas was always spent with families together,
Not with one cousin overseas.
Sometimes, I think leaders should learn lessons
From children yet to grow their permanent teeth.
With their gap-toothed smile, they’d say:
Love is when you give everyone hugs,
Even if the bad stuff gets in the way.