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When I was a little girl I swung high and low,

and tried to touch the clouds with my toes,

in a pair of sneakers with worn-out laces,

that I learned to tie with the help of

a song about rabbit ears.

Collected memories in dirt-filled-soles,

of Mill Pond and the trees I climbed.

Each winding branch an invitation to soar,

to new heights,

in the world and in me.

The days of tall grass fields and Daffodils,

scents of onion, and honeysuckle sweetness.

Oh and how loudly the sun shone!

As if it were a chorus in the sky:

Hopes and dreams sung in children’s voices,

not just light, but imagination come to life–

We challenged one another to balance,

walk on the white wooden fences,

dividing us from the street,

and constructed belief.

I learned to stand tall, even on one leg,

with the other behind, then in front,

arms like a bird.

When you could you flew, and if not,

you fell and got back up again,

dusted-off the scrapes and bruises.

The breeze was delicate, innocent,

could heal and carry you anywhere…

We played softball in a dirt field with

made-up bases, raced up and down hills,

yelled:

You’re it!

We honored our word and knew the importance

of it as children.

…Called teams, jumped rope, hung tires,

even dug deeply down into the clay layers of soil

for China.

It’s true (and we actually believed we could!)

Sometimes with a close friend,

you’d just sit and wonder, talk secrets,

and collect the ladybugs or ants that crawled

onto your sun-drenched skin.

We had no doubts…

When I was a little girl no one ever told me

it’s impossible to touch the clouds with your toes.

They let you believe, reach for, and dream.

We weren’t encouraged not to because we may fail,

get hurt, or that things were unattainable, silly even,

but were encouraged to strive because trying

made anything possible—

As we grew into adulthood and older eyes,

from seeing the truth of things not so playful…

Something somewhere somehow said we couldn’t,

and being so smart we believed it,

and settled into that misfortune.

I carry around my little girl’s heart,

into love, into life, into creating,

in everything that I am—

(and it’s when someone suggests I shouldn’t that I hurt.)

…Into believing, into teaching my own daughter today,

and every little girl (boys too),

that  you should always strive to touch the sky

with your toes, even if it seems no one ever has

or will.

…Be the one trying and believing,

rather than a hopeless fool—

For rigid is the road to devastation.

And you could toss your sneakers,

and live your days in shattered bones.

Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

© 2014 All Rights Reserved

(this is still being edited)

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