The Playground

I was sick, so I stayed in the house all day,

But then I got well, so I went out to play.

I went to the playground—my friends were not there—

It was a new crowd, but I didn’t care.

I’d make all new friends and I’d learn all their names,

I’d strike up my courage and try out new games.

There was jump-rope and softball and even croquet.

I loved the beautiful sun-shiny day,

Because I had stayed in the house all day.

I ran and I jumped and I skipped and I walked,

I stood and I laughed and I joked and I talked.

Then a kid called me grandpa—I thought that was odd—

It took me aback as I hemmed and I hawed.

Perhaps I had said what I read in a book,

And that’s why he gave me that strange, piercing look.

I ran and I jumped and I skipped and I walked,

I stood and I laughed and I joked and I talked.

I loved the beautiful sun-shiny day,

But wherever I went, no one asked me to play.

I tried to make friends, but I just couldn’t bond,

I wandered, discouraged, and looked at the pond.

There were ducks and some geese and a little toy boat,

A castle of sand complete with a moat,

And I saw an old man who delights in the day.

In his mind he’s a child, but his hair has turned gray—

It was my face in the pond that I saw!

I realized then what I was and was not,

I was sick a lot longer than even I thought.

I went home and I stayed in the house all day.