By Caitlin Eha


I drove to the park today
The old one just down the road
From the house where I’ve always lived
One step out of my car became
A step back through time.

I wandered the old paths
While children raced past me
Scrambling up the slides in wild abandon
Searching for the monkey bars as their voices
Layered over the laughter of bygone years.

The ghosts of my younger self
Still play there, with that same abandon
Kicking on the swings to reach higher,
Higher to touch the sky
The sky looked so close in those days.

My other ghosts are under trees
Launching wooden airplanes on maiden flights
Borne aloft by rubber bands
That twirl plastic propellers
I couldn’t quite fly, but they could.

I’m not sure why
It’s been so long since I came back
Adults have no need for parks, I guess
Except to tread the sidewalks in measured steps
Exercising for its own sake, with all the magic gone.

I sit on the last of the old swings
It creaks as the rusty chains lift me
Up to heaven like they used to
Except I’m bigger now, and the seat doesn’t quite fit
The sky’s portal doesn’t quite open.

I gaze around the old park
Enjoying the wind, and the memories
Of past winds that played with me
And I murmur to myself,
“When did I grow up?”

Category: Featured, Poetry