PLAYING GAMES

 

When I was a child,
was I thoughtless or taught less
or was there less to think about,
less to love?
Though life was never loveless.
When I was a child,
did I dream less because
I didn’t know any more?
When I was a child,
I lied without knowing
the truth of a lie.

As a man,
the closer I come to the truth,
the more I turn to the dream,
for now there’s less to love,
less to give,
for so much more
has been taken.

When I was a child,
I held trust like it were breath,
ever buoyant,
flirted with faith
as if it were a fountain
that could never fail.

As a man,
breath grows cautious
to capture
and faith has fallen to faithless,
has fallen to fate, to fear.

When I was a child
a puzzle held 10 simple pieces
and when combined
they formed a whole.

Now, as a man,
the pieces are countless
and this puzzle
is far from complete.
When I was a child,
I played like the sun
would never settle,
now playing is paused
as paws are poised
for the running,
running to catch the light
before it falls off a horizon line
they tell me is not a flat drop off,
but this is a truth
I must see for myself
so as to know it’s not a lie.

Time falls
into something, off something
and we are runners in races
whose finish-lines
we don’t want to face.

The truth
is not what we dreamed of
when we knew not
the value of that dream.

As a child,
finish was never a word
that took flight in dreams,
no bird flaps its wings
with desires to meet its end.

I see, in the mirror,
dimly, and sometimes clearly,
pieces that have parted
and the puzzle that remains
between child and man,
between innocence and all the light
that grew dimmer
after the loss,
and between the thinking,
the taking and the being taken.

And somewhere
between it all, I am there,
looking back at who I’ve become.

  

All words and photos by Damien B. Donnelly

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