On my walk this morning I saw a kid
at a window, forehead to pane,
hands searching the glass,
as if trying to locate the latch
to some secret passage
When I was his age my Mom
had to yell at my brothers and I
to stop melting our minds on video games
and get some exercise.
We had a trampoline.
A park nearby. A driveway.
Still, we’d trudge out, verklempt,
and go through the motions of playing
until we could finally re-enter
the house’s hallowed walls and beat each other up
in the more civilized surroundings
of our rooms.
I wondered, when this kid can finally leave
the empty sandbox of his living room,
will he explode into the outdoors
and run around gorging himself
on sensation, or will a shadow
of stigma remain?
not to touch your friends.
Only a week ago, I didn’t turn off lights
with my elbows or wash lemons.
I waved and left him behind,
knowing one more thing:
grief doesn’t belong
just to death.