Grown Ups

Do you remember when you were seven years old

and you wore the pale blue t-shirt,

the one with the pony on it?

When you skipped arm-in-arm with your best friend

toward the swing set while classmates pushed

and ran and threw wood chips?

In youth’s soft round whisper you held no belief of betrayal,

sharing secrets and self like broken halves of crayon.

Now you wear practiced smiles at the grocery store,

at church and for the neighbors,

wanting the man that loves you in bed each night

to hold you like a surrogate mother,

a canary of assurance in a wound that will not heal.

When you were a child, you could catch frogs

and release them.

Now intimacy turns blue in the grip of a white-knuckled fist

squeezing until the body falls limp,

lifeless in your hands.

Grace Willis

Grace Willis is an undergraduate at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri where she is studying English Literature with a certificate in literary publications. She is a student editor for the Moon City Review, a literary press based out of Missouri State University.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN