[POEM] these kids

these kids
for Adian, Cooper, and JoJo

it started with twelve paws
excited and eager at the door
it continued with two little humans
chasing and fighting and playing
one quickly growing human
skinny and awkward as all tweens are
handsome and sly wearing a flee market hat

we ate pizza out of the box
tore off the cheese, traded pepperoni
I listened to stories about:
vintage video games, new computers games,
movie directors, youtube gamers
I fielded tattle telling and turn-taking
musical instruments, plastic toys, crayons
littered the hardwood and geometric rugs
a house cat nowhere to be found

he showed me how to stand on a longboard
hold my balance so I wouldn’t fall
I gained more confidence in myself from this twelve-year-old
than a year of false love and lies from a friend
I sailed down the alley behind our bungalow
at the edge of the pavement, I shifted my feet
and the wheels obeyed, weaving back and forth
replacing fear was just a hint of arrogance

then a fire, while the kids ran, and the pre teen
talked and talked and talked, while I gathered sticks
added them to the small flames.
We took turns blowing to make the fire grow
added branches from fallen tree limbs
in these moments I learned of a new betrayal
having stolen away a minute on my phone
sending heat through me that no fire could match
my heart would not settle and all noise became distant

Until I realized how little it mattered now
this love was burnt through, blackened like the
logs I was burning.  “He is destroying
something good. You are worth fighting for.”
I stared at those words until they blurred
took in all that was around me:
a dark sky, clouds, a warm fire
my sister’s kids, my own beautiful child,
a million dollar view of these small Pennsylvania mountains
a sleepy Victorian town below.

my empty eyes stared into the flicker of flames
It wasn’t until the four-year-old laid in my arms
and caressed my skin while the twelve-year-old
watched a live stream of a youtube gamer that
I knew I’d be ok. My own child, mixing up
water and playdough concoctions in the house
enjoying the company of her solitude.
When it was time to take the boys home
I carried in my arms forty pounds of sleeping solid mass
of beautiful boyhood, and nothing made me feel
more important or needed or loved in that moment
of being a mom/aunt/friend/mentor to these kids

In the distance: near a harbor she has moved on
and he hasn’t, sitting alone writing of longing
hoping it makes an impact, all while knowing
he chose this path of loneliness.
And I chose otherwise.

/ / /

Gina Thompson
28 August 2015
Bellefonte PA

About Gina Marie Thompson

writer • mom • mountain biker • outdoor adventurer • educator • social justice crusader • seeker of love & beauty• living locally • I CHOOSE LOVE ❤️
This entry was posted in family, family & friends, my poems and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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