It’s my time to depart
this place I always found the sun to shine darker, the wind to blow with an extra chill,
where time felt as if it stood still.
Yet, as I leave
the clouds separate,
and the sun shines showing beauty I never noticed.
Where the trees that bend over the road
whose leaves and branches grow in an arc creating a tunnel for cars to pass.
Or perhaps the old concrete bridge that crumbles,
the pond below it looks as if it inspired Monet.
Below the arch you would spend winters throwing rocks at it’s dagger like ice sickles.
The field where you could lay in the hot summers in the shade of the pine tree. Where you gazed into your lovers eyes for the very first time.
Your stepfather marveled at the height of the tree suspecting it’s age. “Definitely pre World Wars!” he’d say.
You would walk up, under, and around it’s branches finding a home in the forest.
The third highest branch was your bedroom.
The branch that hung out like a giant balance beam was both your bounce house and kitchen.
The creek is where you played Peter Pan with the neighbor children, you found your Neverland, where your childhood felt eternal.
Neverland became the parking garage that the teens drove to the top of on weekends, or even the basement of a friend’s
where like wallflowers the girl vomited in the guest toilet, falling over on the tile
from drinking too much of an autumn leaf colored liquid that she found in a cabinet her parents dipped into all the time.
Perhaps it was the three best friends who sat around a tub of Eddy’s Ice Cream, somehow inhaling the ice cream with one spoon and a fork in which they shared. Then they begged for oreos, and hot cheetos alike
a trip to the gas station grocery store at 3 in the morning.
they giggled the whole drive just to arrive
and be too scared for the cashier to look into their red, puffy, eyes.
or maybe it’s the metro suburb that places the hometown football team on a pedestal, celebrated like soldiers returning home from war after every win.
Like an A24 film, or coming of age tv show-
where the teenage worldview is limited to this terrifyingly bubble-esq town.
Yet as I leave the bubble, this prison cell I had always disdained-
it’s charm begins to remind you of all your memories, of Neverland, of all the times you would try to capture lighting bugs in your hands.
As the wheels of the plane no longer touch the ground, you peer out your window one last time.
Smeared shades of purples and pinks and oranges.
Indiana sunrises are euphoric beyond compare.
They leave you longing for the beauty of yesterday,
a kind of nostalgia that makes tomorrow seem like forever. Where time stands still, a youthful forever.
A beautiful, intoxicating reminder as to why I had to leave.