Happiness was easier at age-five
days of discovery, when mistakes were
uh-ohs and retries rather than losses
and goodbyes, but—harder or not—we meet
often since I've questioned its absence.
When did mistakes become shameful?
When did pockets of sunshine turn into
cloudy items to perfect? When did I
begin to notice scuffs on my saddle
shoes? And when did they begin to pinch me?
Hmm? You think too much! My mother told me,
but what a pleasure it was to feel and
then to contemplate the sensation and
its before and after as if life was
a chess game I could play inside my head.
Chess was better than checkers and rummy
because there was more to ponder, like reading
a novel but with less certainty. And
games returned with happiness—Scrabble this
time and writing novels I’d like to read.
Writing is harder but happier than
both thinking and chess, because here I play
with dolls again—characters I need not
bring physically to their tea parties in
diapers and dresses that need changing.
Happiness was easier at age five
but days of discovery are back with
uh-ohs and re-writes rather than losses
and goodbyes. I am one of the lucky
ones, finding my younger self still alive.
Written for my own prompt
Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast