Growing Pains

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.




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