Growing Up

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I want to be five years old again. Back when colours were just colours and not reminders of people I once used to know. When happiness came in tiny, brightly-coloured packets of shiny candy and wasn’t accompanied with bitter memories that turned my tongue sour. When love was the toys I shared with my friends and not an elusive firefly I could never catch, glowing dimmer and dimmer the closer I got to it.

I want to be eight years old again. Back when games were just games, innocent fun to pass a lazy summer day and this deadly hide-and-seek life now plays with me was still in the future, far away. When my fingers were still learning to grip my pen with ease and not ripping apart notebooks filled with words from a past me. When songs were sung in high, exulted notes and not a voice near breaking for the fifth time today.

I want to be fifteen years old again. Back when breathing was something I did without a thought and didn’t have to think twice about laughing too hard. When a door was just a door with exciting adventures behind it and not a door with monsters lurking in the corners beside it. When life was a road I was yearning to walk, my eyes blissfully oblivious of the weeds that grew further down the path.

I don’t want to be twenty years old yet. I still have to call the people I think of when my eyes catch a certain shade of yellow. I still have to thank everyone who bought me candy when I was eleven. I still need to chase that firefly and seek the future. I still have to tape together the ripped notebooks, still need to try singing that song again because I’m positive, this time I can do it. I still need to catch my breath just so I can laugh some more. Still have to try the knob of every door. And when I’m done with all of that, I still need to put on a new pair of shoes and dance my way through all those weeds that lurk down the paths I choose.

Things That Are Real

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Five Years Old

 

  • The green umbrella we shared that July evening when neither of our mothers were watching. The way you held my hand – your fingers wrapped so tightly around my own.

 

  • Your anger when that other boy pushed me off my bike on accident. The rainbow in the sky and your hand placed protectively under my scraped knee as I cried on the pavement.

 

  • The house we built from chairs and blankets and toys in the veranda. The dolls I cradled in my arms like our babies and the clay bread I served you with a smile when you came home from work.

 

  • The day you pulled me against your chest to show me how my head barely reached your nose. Your steady breath on my forehead and my foot making circles in the dirt beside your toes.

 

  • Your wet, trembling lips against my warm cheek and the thundering of my heart in my chest. A curious parrot watching and my mother calling me for dinner from far, far away.

 

  • The last hug we shared and my promise to call before getting into the car. And the little strip of paper with your number that I lost long before I reached my destination.

 

  • My bones trying desperately to run to you and the ropes pulling me back from your waiting arms. The conviction that you were the last real thing I felt before I fell.

 

  • Your fading memory that I hold onto so hard. And the cuts and bruises that the ropes inflict on my struggling fingers.

 

  • Fingers that want nothing but yours wrapped around them like they did so many years ago. Like they might never do again.

A Wintery Walk

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The rush

Of the winter breeze

Against my cheek,

The thump

Of my cold feet

On the pavement

While my fingers freeze,

A sharp intake

Of breath – the building up

Of a sneeze,

The chills

Of the morning air

Whispering in my ear

Like a mischievous tease.

~Diksha

Ballerina

 

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Pirouetting,

Dancing,

Twirling on her toes –

The little girl,

Eyes closed,

Sways to the notes.

Innocent,

Unadulterated,

Incandescent happiness –

Swirling,

Whirling,

A passionate giddiness.

Floating,

Glowing,

Her pure, angelic charm –

Playful,

Graceful,

In her outstretched arm.

~Diksha