Memory at Five

Tonight, you said in whispered words,
tonight you’ll learn to fly.
My age could not be cut by thirds;
I thought that I might die.

That chilled autumnal night we went
past houses lit quite bright.
The happy children played, intent,
and still I shook with fright.

My tiny child hands grasped, fixed.
The chains were slightly cold.
My swing took off, my mind was mixed.
Your story made me bold.

One day, you said, when you grow wise,
the cold will keep you in.
That’s why tonight, with your young eyes
I thought we would begin.

I’m going to take you to the stars,
to dance above the moon.
The twinkling lights will all be ours.
I think we’ll get there soon.

And once we’re there, you’ll get a gown
of shimmery, sparkling hues.
The fabric peels, just pull it down,
The moon has lots to lose.

Then pick the nicest star you see,
and taste the special treat.
The radiance will shine so free
out of your hands and feet.

My legs pumped in, my legs pumped out,
the sky was getting near.
This all was true, I had no doubt,
and then it all was here.

The upside, downside blended twice,
until the sky was floor.
We danced and flew and crawled like mice
and still I wanted more.

Arrayed in moon, I ate the star
and looked down at my toes.
The light illuminated far
in ever beaming rows.

But now our time has reached an end,
you told me as I yawned.
We slowly started to descend,
before the light had dawned.

And then, the father and his child
grew old and years went by.
Yet I remember still, beguiled –
I walked out of the sky.


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