Sometimes I miss
That childhood haze
Of digging holes
In my backyard

And constructing forts
Standing not for long

I miss putting up
Pretending I commanded
A loyal land

Underneath the particle board
A sovereign nation in my hands

When the only thing
That worried me was
Whether or not
It was raining

Before I started
Feebly complaining

I miss dirt on my hands
I miss having rust
From excavated artifacts
Through my wrinkles run

And then I would
Refuse to wash up

I can’t remember
The last time I
Dug up an anthill
Or had an insect crawl on me

After I had
Disturbed the queen

I remember hitting
Rocks with a hammer
To be captured by
The geodes inside

In the summer

And never going
Even when it got dark

I always had at the ready
A stash of flashlights

The gopher holes
And goat heads
I always had to
Wear sandals for

Being outside
Used to never bore me

All the filth
All the fauna
To explore
Was all I ever wanted

At least today now
I can remember

Wearing sandals again
In the hot burning sun
With rust on my hands
And arms bruised with dirt

By falling into grass
Or finding gems on wooden anvils

Anchored to a wagon
Before much more appreciated
I discovered stuff
I never would had seen if not

I hammered on thick stump chunks
And opened metamorphic rocks

When the sweat on my forehead
Wasn’t as big a deal
As if I could repair
This bicycle wheel

I could only venture to guess
At the grime I tracked in

Even then
On a rainy day
I undressed
And walked out in it

It wasn’t a big deal then
It was just what happened

Where it was my curiosity
That wanted to know
Whether or not
I could climb that fence

Or that hill
Or that tree

My palms would grow white
With friction
On salvaged ropes
And cool looking sticks

Hiding in trees for no reason
Long before they were pruned

Wearing mismatched clothes
And had open toes
To the air
To breathe and be

Getting flecked with soil
When on castles I toiled

Exploring and moving
Around my domain
Embarking on adventures
In my small acre plains

Boards setting up
Ditches to be dug

Geodes split
Cuts on my shins
From laboriously
Moving cinder blocks

To make dowel rod fences
Cordoning off my beloved clubhouse

Where I splintered
Two by fours
And endangered the local
Water reservoirs

All to sate a curiosity
All in wake of something called me

I miss that dirt on my hands
I wouldn’t call it innocence
I wouldn’t call being carefree
I would simply call it

An old friend

Published by Jake Thomas Shaw

Concerned with memory, currency, and destiny, I strive to capture each one as they happen. Join me and consume reality! Radio Reality. City!

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