I Grew Up Here

On school led nature trails
we broke away and hid
in amongst trees and all of their fallen branches, we
followed streams like survivors, dipped our
toes into all of the river life and

returned older, bolder, by ourselves and together,
basked in the sun and played games we could never be too old for,
not really –
we lost and found and lost and found
and tricked and laughed and leapt over
roots deep and onto little islands
we declared our own, our findings and

years later I came back grown when
all of the getting bigger and wiser was no longer
mines to do, I did with that
what I could and ended up
me – but I saw a child, young and fierce,
dive headfirst into water I always thought
would be too shallow, –

his head emerged from the ripples and
he was fresh and unhurt and ready to jump again
and I knew then that
I hadn’t learned everything I could.

By Holly Fleming

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