To Myself as a Child


Dear child who may or might have been,
Who is and is not me,
I look back and I think that those,
Your years,
Must have been so lonely and so alone,
Even when you thought you understood all,
Defined all.
You were the child who was often message-boy,
Rarely confidante,
The only one who could not jump rope,
Who failed to conquer the monkey bars,
And lived with friendships of geography
While you tried so hard not to trip over Barbie dolls
Lying shamelessly naked on the rug.
And yet you thought you were queen and prophet,
You stood invincible,
You had the audacity to jest at scars
Even while you idolized that one kid who spent
___all of second grade in graffitied casts.
I look back at the echoes of your illegible hand
Filling up half-used diaries,
And I do not know if I should praise you
___or bury you.

Sarah, high school, north summer camp

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