Maybe if I wear butterfly clips,

Bust out my purple MP3 player,

And dance atop my polka dot comforter,

Maybe then I’ll remember who I was,

Feel Childhood again:


Back when I didn’t wake up tired,

And my heart ached only when I dribbled a basketball,

Jumped over a backyard wall, and sprinted

Down a steep hill,

Or felt God’s presence rushing over me.


My heart always fluttered for boys,

But crushes blossomed from a distance

And out of imaginary gardens,

Except for my marriage to the out-of-tune

Piano-playing spy

When I was five.


Back when marriage meant holding hands

And eating Superman popsicles at birthday parties

And begging for sleepovers, which,

For some reason,

Our parents never let us have.


I fought only once with my spy husband

When he sneaked me a peck on the cheek at Sunday school,

And I returned the gesture.

But my parents only caught the kiss I gave him,

So I got in trouble for it,

Or perhaps just teased.


I refused to talk or sit next to him,

But I don’t think he noticed.

So eventually I caved.

I don’t remember how

Or when—perhaps I said sorry—

But we went back to how it had always been.


Maybe this is a childish problem,

But that’s a good thing

Because childish problems

Always float away

On butterfly-clip wings.


Rebekah Cook

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