It always comes as news. The news that I heard today... as though phones are still only the styrofoam cups with strings - hello hello. over.
the sadness of a small town spreads across the world. prayers.
and hope becomes something smeared across the glass-
or just a hole in the sky for the stars to pour through.
It seems silly because it's been years, and the memories I have are those of a child, dream shadows, laced with giggles and whispers and deteriorated by time.
catching ahold of what is left. candy hearts I remember, spun sugar, greased hair and shaky valentines.
a boy with elvis curls and a wide grin.
screaming around the playground - 2nd graders enacting our version of romance, love as war, girls against boys, stolen kisses and laughter, the swinging of ponytails, plastic barrettes and jump rope.
as you screamed that a girl should not kick a boy 'there'
even if it was for a kisser team war and the odds were tight.
middle school tag as the sun sets in the church garden, stomachs full - pigs in blankets, baked beans and chili cheese, cinnamon apples. Ran past the grey statues and warnings of ghosts or after-dark wanderers. a game of tag in the dark turns to accidental hide and seek, screaming until the statues echo back, admitting the night time terror of being alone.
basketball game in the afternoon - laughing mouths open, back and forth.
braiding hair. moving past ocean water.
not all was kind: games became more cruel, chasing a wasp til a girl cried, charades of heartbreak and flirting, the sketches of naked women with bodies like vases, women with legs splayed, posing in impossible ways - posted on the windows of the church van. alcohol and detergent.
but still you laughed. everyone laughed. reckless and proud, youth and beauty.
and then childhood and memory were put away, folded and tucked, left and abandoned to shadowland.
i don't know how the story got so much worse.
It shouldn't have been written. It wasn't meant to be written that way. A cruel game? A joke, where somewhere the string pulls and it all comes apart, and we are all left laughing. Hope for that.
But it seems too much has gone for that now. Maybe in another life, in another place. It is wishful.
it's like we are all running in the dark, looking for that hole in the sky, and you found the stars first.