I happened into a playground one of five Autumn days
to find the ball sitting stagnant and wanting for warmth
of hands – seems you’ll set it down at any number of turns —
Rough play still isn’t my forte, so you don’t have to start at
this metaphor; I just find something aching in the Newton’s
Cradle we’ve grown into. You know he never hoped for any
like this, sheer gravity set him in motion, and why not us?
My approach was less-than-me, but so much more, now I
worry over every word like you’re prone to hide and seek
only if the seeking’s soon abandoned and you feel safe
in shadow. Your Peter Pan comfort isn’t equivalent to a
ceasefire. Reflection proves my overspillings, my insistence
you sip, my stop-to-trip-then-fall-because-that’s-physics!
be the “Yes”’s you gather, basket bearer. No shining silvers
nor capital-L’s for the empty in you – they tire, retire, and
leave lesser me’s lonelier. Yours produced my “I Know,”
offer up like palms forward, waving handkerchief tied to stick’s
end ((and you know sticks are hard to come by in Harlem)),
only to hit pavement for empty playground, you MIA, and
panic finally provides hedges, a hole, the ball resting quiet,
covered with a meticulous, almost woven layer of leaves,
another cut-&-bled prayer not to play, but I laugh warm
breaths in now-winter air, hoping they retain heat enough to
burn your cheek, for the irony’s on you: Code-talk’s tuckered
me out, darlin’ — I never told you to press on, just to say
aloud when you wanted to stop.