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.