Someone once told me that poetry is portable. You can take it to someone like a casserole.
I thought of this becuase I was at the pool [again] and without even trying I thought of some lines from a poem. They traveled with me all these miles from a cold classroom in Iowa.
I remembered one of my favortie lines from "On Turning Ten," by Billy Collins. In the poem he is remembering all the memories he associates with each year of this life, and the invinciblity of childhood. In the end, however, he says:
"It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now, when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees.
I feel a little bit like ole Billy these days, realizing that the "simple fixes" of childhood are far behind me now. A kiss and a bandaid don't fix it so easily.
I don't write this because I have deep scars or noticeable scratches. I write this becuase I realize this sidewalk of life is bigger than I expected. I write this becuase I didn't learn to ride my bike here, on this sidewalk.
I write this because I want to be only light underneath.
I write this because I am trying to learn to ride my bike agian.