Friday, July 24, 2015
When I Was Ten
Today is Five-Minute Friday. Five minutes to write - no time to edit, no time to think, no time to plan. Just. Write. The prompt is TEN. Go....
When I was ten, I thought fairy godmothers were real,
I thought little girls could become princesses as long as they were home before midnight.
I thought happily ever after was a place, just beyond the orange-slurpee sunset
I thought leprechauns danced on pots of gold
And rainbows were bridges to heaven
When I was ten, I thought tornadoes picked up houses and carried them to magical places
With yellow-brick roads, and talking scarecrows
And flying monkeys
And witches that melted like brown sugar
When I was ten, I believed in Tinkerbell and the Magic Kingdom.
I watched Mutual of Omaha and Doctor Welby, MD
And Ed Sullivan's Variety Show.
I watched newsreels of an undeclared war in a far-away place
I saw an American flag planted on the moon by men in marshmallow spacesuits
And I heard gunshots fired at night and heard the news of gas stations burning
To protest busing and segregation and inequality
Dr. King died when I was ten.
When I was ten, I played outside until dark
Kick the can, Flashlight Tag, Capture the Flag,
Sometimes I just walked the trails of a nearby woods,
And thought about the people who lived before
All the houses and roads and factories and schools
I made myself a bow and arrows and played pretend
When I was ten, I swam like a dolphin
Like a butterfly
When I was ten,
My family used to take vacations to visit relatives
Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents
On farms far away from the city-suburbs
Even my great-grandparents were alive
When I was ten.
I still carry that ten-year old
Inside with the starlight, starbright imagination
Inside with happily ever after hope
I still see that ten-year old in the faces of my niece and nephew
In the family resemblance,
In their curiosity
And their joy
I still remember the heartbreak and pride of news
Long gone and still heavy in my heart
When I was ten, I never thought I'd be one of the old people saying When I was...