Within these dusty diary pages
nostalgia lies for her midday nap
3pm, summer day
I remember when growing older was a promise of the future
the A-OK to have pancakes
anytime we damn well wanted,
under our own roof, our own law.
I used to sneak out of that humble home
we’d meet at the park and race to the swings
he’d reach so high on the set, he swore
he touched the stars with his own two feet.
Growing older meant we wouldn’t have to
give report cards to our parents,
we could rip them up
and never see the light of judgement.
Recess at 9:40,
lunch at 11:40;
without that structure,
we collapse under the scaffolding.
We have lived our childhoods in regimens and timetables
we’ve added those numbers together
and that’s all we have.
My parents were so eager to show off my grades to aunts and uncles
but years later, I realized
I was never taught a pancake recipe.
I’ve spent so much time keeping busy
this façade of adult success,
that my feet haven’t touched stars
Like gutting a pumpkin just to put a candle inside,
we ache in order to impress others.