Young man,
tell me about the first time
you fell from a playground, a swingset;
the earth waiting for you
but not ready for you.
Tell me about the scream
that stuck to your teeth,
and then you were already there, down, on earth.
Safe but breathing heavy, exhilarated
from the fall.
Tell me how much that is like
every day of your life.

Young woman,
I want to know what it felt like
to bite into that too-soft peach;
how it yielded to your hunger,
how you just had to squeeze it a little
and lap up the juice running down
your arms. How life
can be like that; how you just need
a little belief
that you can make things yield.

Old man,
if I ask you about the first time
you grew enamoured with somebody’s
eyes, would you tell me war stories?
Would you push up your sleeve past the
scuffed watch, and say,
“here, the girl held on. I remember
her fingers grasping me.
What are sides of a war?”

Old woman,
I cannot see you as anyone
other than my grandmother. A living
for all people, a world inside yourself.
There are so many things
I would never dare to know about you.
But could you
over tea
tell me about heartbreak?
Tell me about quiet?
Tell me about being in that field,
alone?

Photo credit: annfrau on Flickr

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