Those Days


I wanna go back to those days
when life was as simple as the worksheets
I would finish in five minutes
so I could get back to my game.
I think I miss those days
when Ms. Berry chased me around the classroom
like the big sister I never asked for
with hands covered in lotion.
Don’t misunderstand, I didn’t want to be ashy,
but it wasn’t cool
or normal
for a fifth grade teacher to point it out or
clown on you about it in class,
in front of bae.

I think I miss those days
when I enjoyed running, 
when I was real,
when I was too broke to be concerned
about the opinions of others
and too blunt to be accused of frontin’.
I miss those days when
pain taught you something, 
those days when you aspired to be someone,
when dreams were more like
distant future than fantasy.
I miss those days when introductions
weren’t about what you do,
when introductions were about your name,
when we played games with cards,
not hearts,
when creative art was neither hard nor special
‘cause all I needed was paper, pencil, 
and a sour patch-induced sugar rush.

I miss those days when words weren’t
spoken for fame, but made to incite,
when words of reason actually changed minds,
when the mind behind the pen wasn’t so
those days in 6th grade when I told Mr. Sandomir
I couldn’t write a short story
because it begged to be a novel.
I miss those days
when the keys I played on the piano
put up more of a fight,
when the music I taught had no price,
when death didn’t have to remind us
to enjoy life, 
when discussions on free will and fate
were kind of boring
‘cause they really didn’t change the fact that
what already is already was
and what mattered more was the
amount of time I had left to play Kingdom Hearts. 

I think we missed something on the way
to the age we couldn’t wait to become,
almost like the future stole our fun
and left it in the past,
in those days when the present was truly a present,
when Chinese food, cartoons, and the ambience of Harlem
was all you had,
and all you needed.


Cover Photo by Kay on Unsplash