Mr. Moon

8/20/09

I want to be that little girl again,
the one who galloped
free, blond hair blowing
wildly behind,
orchard grass scratching her
hairy bare legs,
fingers tangled in
a wiry mess of dirty blond
pony mane

The girl whose shoeless feet
splashed through fresh rain
puddles as the drops
continued to fall

whose knees rarely were
without scrapes or
scabs, trophies
of her outdoor
adventures–

The days were long, stretched on
like evening shadows in
summer, each a tale of
fingers and toes in moist brown
earth, pony coat underhand,
green grass underfoot,
the crunch of raw sweet corn
exploding, filling her mouth with
the euphoric experience of

being alive.

In winter,
The pony’s stubby legs
struggled through belly-brushing snow
and the little girl
rode proud, a
commander in chief, rubber
boots kicking pony’s
barrel belly, girl and pony
in Pennsylvania paradise,
chunky snow spit out in
their wake.

I was that girl once, that
carefree bundle of
bushy hair and happiness; somewhere

beneath the layers of
twenty-three years, a four-year degree,
continuous shuffling, cross country moving,
job after job
after job, home after home
after home, scraping pennies off
the floor of my Volkswagon Golf,
sipping tea in a diner, rain
falling hard on dark windows outside, willing
it to stop so I could
find a place to sleep–

and once standing
atop a 14,400 foot pile of rocks, nearly
crying out at the ache of pure
aloneness, pure loneliness and
the realization I could only
rely on me to get down–

somewhere

beneath all that reality,
the little girl
rests inside, waiting
behind a somber mask of
responsibility and self-reliance
for those drops, those flakes to
fall, for that breeze to blow that tells her
run! barefoot, for her teeth to sink
into summer corn so crisp and sweet
she feels

at last
alive again.

Until those moments, I
am in this ambiguous
in-between, this neutral liquid state,
where I barely even know who I am and

so wish I could be that little girl
who sees it all so clearly
again.