The child in me
Wrinkles expose the scars of time
ravishes of rampaging life,
the disfigurements of failure,
laughter lines of success.
These are not the projections
of childhood expectations:
sunshine for tomorrow,
Golden fields pepper the past:
trike rides in everlasting summers,
snow ball fights in Christmas holidays,
hiding in ambush for exotic strangers
with red skins and feathered heads,
reading comics in bed ‘til ten o’clock.
The long walk to school
risking footfall on pavement cracks,
hopscotch skip and jump,
the gallop of Trigger
or foot drawl of Blind Pew.
Always being the last pick
for the playground football match:
disappointed that no-one recognised me
Roy of the Rovers
Spending ages pondering which angel
around the manger was Santa Claus
and why were there camels and not reindeer.
Walking with dinosaurs fearless of their magnitude
stalking Stukkas in a Spitfire,
needing a bandage on a splinter
a kiss on the bruise.
Fantasies of constancy in a changing world
where ‘there is no success like failure
and failure is no success at all’.
Finding, between the manger
that has no Santa Claus
and the black pain of a Good Friday,
there is room for me
and I am not
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