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She said She was a Sparrow

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She said she was a sparrow.
But she was the kind of girl who runs around outside with a glow stick, only in the darkness so she can marvel at the light she holds in her cupped palms, who falls in the grass and touches noses with neighborhood cats and mimics their saccharine meows.
She’s the one who pulls into the parking lot with her fixed gear bike and dares someone to look at her. You know the one, that girl who beat all of the boys in footraces in the third grade. That girl with the wild hair and the firework eyes. The one with the vintage stamped superhero lunch box clipped to her backpack.
She scooped up granddaddy long legs barehanded and scared all the boys on the playground. She jumped off of swings and hung upside down on the monkey bars. She ate lemon sherbet and painted in sidewalk chalk on those sticky summer days when even the sky sweated.
She ran outside when it rained in a t-shirt and no shoes, eyes closed, waiting for the impact of the ground and the resounding splash that echoed around her.
Waiting for the sound of gravity.
She played piano on iron wrought gates and transformed bubbles into spaceships. The color of her eyes was the sound of a branch being ripped from a tree during a storm. Her bare feet were the smell of toasting stale bread. Her laughter was the color of raindrops in spring, her shrieks and giggles the soft clatter of puppy feet on slick wooden floors.
And when she cried, her tears consumed Atlantis.
She would stand on frosty roofs in December, smelling the stars and the light from long lost fireflies on those summer days still echoing in her eyes.
She wanted to grab the world up in her pudgy baby fingers and hold it in her arms. She wanted to wrap it up in the evening walks in the park on summer nights when even the trees themselves seemed to glow. She wanted to take that world in her embrace and hold on tight, squeezing until it cried out, “Let me go!” and splintered into a thousand tiny birds who would always find their way home, back to her arms.
You said you were a sparrow.
But Little Girl, stop forcing your Eagle into a Sparrow’s shell.



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