I Know That Jet Remembers

We play hide-and-seek,
me and my shadows,
in the dusk of a
Louisiana summer night,
just when the passion flowers
open, pale and exotic:
Shrieking giggling
tag-you're-it running
in and out of halos
projected by
flickering streetlights.

Hopscotching Chinesejumproping
bikeriding dollplaying
roleplaying gypsies in discarded
motherskirts, we are free
from before and after
and all complications.

We know how to:
win at jacks,
climb trees,
arrange murders in the dark,
catch fireflies in a jar,
invade construction sites
to smell raw wood studs
and sift our fingers
through cornered piles of
vagrant sawdust,
pick purple bayou iris,
avoid coral snakes,
eat wild strawberries,
chew on sassafras roots, and
start wars with rubberbands
and plastic army men.

This world belongs to
me and my shadows,
and we prefer it.
The boundaries are too far away
to squeeze and pinch,
and we can run a long way
before the chain jerks us back.

Copyright 2001 by Karen Thompson

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