I walked down the old streets of childhood

wearing similar ill fitting shoes

& the memories were blackbirds pecking

heckles of ancient wounds

they told me I was a clumsy foolish child

an ugly, unwanted clown

it felt much like now in my poor shoes

with my old feet aching for release.

Back then we climbed trees if we hurt

& swinging our feet absent of shoes

looked down on torment like a flightless bird.

My teeth ached from the clench in my jaw

carrying around this scoured pain in my stomach

I watched a kids balloon get lost in the sky

& glad of my adult freedom

took off my shoes & walked in the grass

it was wet & unknown, some places cold

the feeling overcome me of something ancient & known

like a boy who threw rocks once, from a high run down wall

smiled now as I passed, not knowing at all

the very caste of hate gentles in time’s strange storm

& so I was the child with a bellyful of pain

who smiled radiant & strangers said to themselves

there must be magic in her softening make.