Young

Written by: Allison Ballard

My green evenings and 
honey suckle sunset were
warmer than my kid fists
that wrapped like velcro
around those tall patches
of tiny yard onions
and my chalk-stained jean skort
packed with hand-picked acorns
that spilled from my pockets like
apple juice as we darted
and traversed our woods, our battle ground
laughing as twigs snapped and leaves crunched 
under our jelly shoes
smiling in our woody palace
our wide, spacy teeth, perpetually a dark purple
from too many grape freeze pops 
that melted faster than our young hearts 
into this quiet place, this garden, this paradise
our child minds so cool and clean
 
But growing caused each day to be remembered
more readily than the next
Hours were really only 60 minutes
and 24 became less than a lot
grass stains seemed darker, seemed bothersome
And America’s online now, I’m a girl now
learning about evenings, about life after sunset
make-up and ribbons flock to my visage like chisels to a canvas
my story shuffled like just another set of cards to be dealt
to be written all the same 
just a little faster than before
My feet, an arched size 9, my lips, a glossy 10
and now I go to sleep even later, even after 11
I wonder if now, had I woken up then
only a few toes dabbing the pond, my green grass
still trailing behind,
If I could’ve stopped where I stood
If I could 've remained and never known the deep well
where I find my heart now
Never having to hold my eyes awake
my muddled heavy mind 
soaked in cigarette fumes
with pretty heels wading through dirty rooms
spilling and slipping, my good ideas ripping
deep red dress, nail paint looking more like blood
my heart and young spirit disappearing like all 
the chalky butterflies, when i was a child, 
when I was new
But miles and miles cram me on foreign pillows
soaking up sorry tears
speaking with less personality than my old room
my old yard, my palace,
my garden, my escape
my love…
 
I hope someday to find it again.