Some people tire
quickly and early on –
at a young age, before they even know
what it means to remember
or to forget.
Their eyes were darker than their peers,
and they sat inside during recess, reading,
or paced the playground, looking at leaves
that laced the frozen ground.
Nobody understands how a child can be tired or heavy.
They think exhaustion comes with the weight of time,
that it is the remembering
and the forgetting
that make people feel old.
They forget how sensitive and able
are the feelings of the young.
How feeling surpasses understanding;
how the murmurs lost as an adult, sanded down with time,
are rich and palpable and
To the children with the shadows in their eyes,
which form from peering too closely in
the opposite direction of the sun,
away from the other children
and toward dark things,
in the shade of the gardens,
that make their lids
so heavy and so tired –
To those with growing pains,
for whom waking feels like reopening a book
lost behind boxes in the attic,
and whose words sound like flying bats or moths,
their fragile wings snapping back and forth
and crushing air within –
I was a child once, and remember how taxing
living can in fact be;
as difficult as remembering or forgetting,
and as painful.
One day, understanding will replace feeling,
or at least overshadow it.
You will rest your tired eyes
like pages that blow in the breeze of the garden,
or white sheets drifting down upon a bed in the making.
One day, you will wake,
and remember the playground
and all the trampled leaves,
and consequently forget
the pacing and the shadows.