In the old days when we were kids
and summer evenings gathered us
all together to play hide-and seek
until it was too dark to see,
we used to hide together, Roger and me,
in the high sweet grass along the ditch
or under the bushes at the edge of the woods,
his arm warm against mine,
hearts beating madly against the earth
as we watched for that chance
to run home free, Roger and me.
It seems strange to think of childhood,
to look back across the years
and recognize that child, myself--
like looking back across a border
to a land I can never touch again
and did not recognize when I was there.
And Roger, he's gone.
He left me behind before he left his childhood,
and I sometimes wonder where he is,
who he has become, whether life has
treated him better than his childhood did,
who joined us bruised but laughing;
he was always laughing, does he still laugh?
I remember the sweet dry grass,
and earth-smell strong in my nostrils
as we huddled against it, waiting.
I remember the darkening evening
alive with our games,
the shouting and running and laughing,
and Roger's arm warm against mine
in those sweet gone evenings
when we used to hide together,
Roger and me,
waiting for the chance to run