Floating On The Ground, poetry by Tina Privitera-Reynolds at Spillwords.com

Floating On The Ground

Floating On The Ground

written by: Tina Privitera-Reynolds


Why did I think this?

school was coming.

endless practicing of
the lowercase letter “a”
in the beach sand.
mistakes and perfection
lapped away by the tide

and loop-de-loop
bunny ears practiced
on a shoe
long since outgrown.

unwashed fingernails
trying to salvage
undissolved lemonade
sugar crusted at the bottom of a crystal glass.

a scratched marble
the color of a mirror
rescued from a sidewalk crack
and lovingly cleaned of clay.

your magic wishing dime
you flipped into
the tulip garden
from the deck steps.

always bruised fresh and
with mosquito bites
scabbed over.

school was coming.

you were always afraid of it all.
it was too big.
you recognized this.
skin pruned after a soak,
we’d all pick a patch
of grass to lay on.
for a while, we’d lay.
sunbathing like walruses
on subzero beach rocks.
flopped on your belly,
you’d be spread out
combing the moss
through your fingers.
you almost never laid on your back.
the dangers of looking at the infinite.
still, you were brave.
adjusting on your towel,
you’d flip yourself flat over.
still, your eyes were kept shut
until they weren’t.
just you and the sky,
floating together.
unobstructed by trees,
uncluttered by maps of
telephone wires,
only clouds born into view
and then gently passing away.
it was scary
to be a helium balloon flying off.
gravity was a myth.
you’d wince at its immensity,
though not at the sun.
it is blinding—
this great big empty
ocean of air and light.
not to be beheld all at once.
you’d always keep close to the
neighbor’s chainlink—
a fail-safe to clutch at
in case you were to lose
your grip on the earth.
a sort of practiced safety check.
all because
you thought you’d fall upward and never come down.
that’s when you knew
it wouldn’t last.
none of it.

Why did I think this?
And why was I right to think it?

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