Portfolio of Hope

kid standing on metal railings

When I was a kid, my Grandma used to take me to the park.
It was one of my favourite places to go,
one of my favourite things to do.

And, on the monkey bars, I would cling on so tight that I’d get friction burns on my hands,
blisters forming on my fingers the next day…
But still, every time I went to my Grandma’s house, I would go to the park.

Pretending that the ground below me was lava,
that I couldn’t let go,
I had to keep holding onto the monkey bars…

Even when my hands were aching,
legs shaking,
fingers bleeding,
the imprint of metal against flesh
leaving calluses on my hands,
I had to keep holding on to the monkey bars.

I held on so long that, somewhere along the way, I forgot that I was pretending…

It’s a fine line between pretending that something is happening and knowing that you’re pretending,
to pretending that something is happening and forgetting that you’re pretending/
and thinking that it is going to happen/
thinking that the ground below you really is lava,
that the danger of letting go is real.

And so, you keep clinging on,
even as the skin peels off your hands
and you grow tired of clinging on,
still, you cling on

even as your Grandma tells you to let go
and, you want to let go, you really do
you can’t let go because…
‘the ground is lava, remember?…
Why can’t she see that?…’

even as your Grandma grows tired of waiting and leaves you
and everybody leaves you
in the end,
still, you cling on,
forgetting that

only in your mind was the lava/
was the danger
ever real
and that

you were free to let go all along…

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