Views from the Valley Literary Magazine - Page 24

I wish I was a little kid again

Because big matters didn’t seem so big

And the darkness had not yet clawed its way into my head

Back then, I knew the difference between right and wrong

and didn’t know the difference between black and white

I hadn’t figured out that I was too white for the blacks

And too black for the whites.

That was when biracial meant pretty

And not some derogatory term

That cut me down

Chopped me up

And left me for the crows

I wish I was a little kid again

When the only thing challenging was monkey bars

And stars kept my wishes secret

wishes with worms wiggling within, making it come to life

Before I knew what a broken promise was

And believed pain was temporary

Before I had claw marks on my arms

Because I tried so hard to keep myself together

To make it day after day after day and into the night

When love was unconditional

And the only thing you could do wrong was talk back

Then I grew up

I wish I was a little kid again

When darkness was scary

And not a long-lost lover

When fairy tales were true

Because they were something to believe in

When the outside was a mysterious place

And not meant to be looked at from a window

When death was not a sweet aroma in the air

And mental breakdowns were yet to be discovered

I wish I was a little kid again

Because back then the little voices in my head were positive.

I could dance around problems till late at night and play with the stars

I could joke with moonbeams and make faces at the girl on the other side of the pond.

Back then, everyone was smart.

Maybe not as smart as the kids who go to the special wooden building, but still smart

“She’s a bright one” they’d say. “Great potential.”

Sad thing is, I believed them.

I wish I was a little kid again

Back then, it was easier thinking that falling in love is easy

And falling out of it was not. I was wrong.

I remember the day I made a mask

And I remember I have yet to take it off.

Dozens of masks are spread in front of me

All for different occasions.

I have one that’s happy, one that’s sad

One that’s okay, and one that has everything together.

The younger me, the happy me,

Picks out the mask for the day, asking if this is really necessary

I kneel, take their hands in mine,

And respond, “You’ll understand in a few years, when school gets hard

And your pillow turns white because you waste tears on yourself.

When you wish you were a little kid again,

And you wish you didn’t have to wish.”

"I Wish I Was A Little Kid Again"- Erin Kaufman