Lost Youth

Poetry by Gina Crespo

Cardinals and mockingbirds perch 

on the dense bark of an orchid tree.

The one outside my childhood window.

The one that left me bruised 

like decomposing mangoes 

in the springtime sun 

or featherless birds displaced 

from their nest. 

Crumpled pages covered in smiley faces 

and crude butterflies

lay next to worn sketchbooks. 

Worlds were once created 

with scented markers. 

Tree trunks smelled of cinnamon 

and synthetic lemon looked like a happy sun. 

But now viridescent grass has been replaced 

by scorched, dry earth. 

Summer has claimed the fantasy of spring. 

Attempting to retrace my path, 

I find my footsteps have been washed away

by time.

Time is a wave, 

monstrous and unrelenting,

continuously knocking down the sandcastles 

I try to rebuild. 

Looking up at clouds in endless cerulean, 

it feels as though I could fall into the sky. 

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