Play Acting

Boy yearns to burst free
From the suit you wear to smother him
Longing for the day
When your bike was not a vehicle
But any saddle needed
When each tree was a unique challenge
When you ran until you couldn’t
When ice cream on your face was prestige

You know he’s in there
Not transformed into a man
At a desk on the 34th floor
But a boy looking out the window
Wanting to toss a paper airplane to soar

Your fatigue is more
Than can be cured with a weekend hike
Or a night in
You’ve forgotten your father’s smile
And what it meant
At the apex of a swing

The boy remains. He’s there
With the young man and the dreamer
Wondering where the fuck you went
Wondering why you dare pass
So many parks on the way to buy vegetables
And how you can sit still for eight hours
Without even stepping into the sun
Until it sets

He’s the reason you still
Don’t take the direct route
And why a tree unclimbed feels like a loss
Why you smile at fresh-cut grass
And why you still stop for ice cream.

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