My inner kid needs play time and this poem is all about that.

My Kid

The alarm went off at eight
as it is set to do,
an easier chore for alarms
than for those who rise to them
And I rolled over,
unwilling to let go of the pillow,
not because of being up too late
or some other reasonable excuse,
but for reasons I had to reach for
Scratching through what is me,
as well as what used to be me
and what once was me,
that came to lay itself in my bed
and use my name
A long way to go
and I wasn’t but halfway there
These debates with the me that is
and the me that used to be
are sometimes and mostly one-sided
Too much good guy over bad guy
hard guy against easy guy
and I hear my father’s voice
What’re you gonna do
sleep your damn fool life away?
and he’s right, but the kid inside
doesn’t want to work today

My kid has been trying to tell me for a month
that he doesn’t want to write,
but I’ve not listened to my younger self,
as my father taught me not to
My kid wants to go outside and play,
walking the dog on long rambling tours
of parks and ponds we haven’t seen
Impatient with abbreviated runs,
Generally shop-lifted from my day
What’s the point of a dog, if not for loving
and helping to search out secrets
My kid needs to cut and paste
and build some imagery
of motorcycles, vintage cars
bi-planes, tree-houses, big boats,
Roman walls and naked women
To fill his kid-mind with exhibitions,
wandering streets that for too long
were just the route to somewhere
My kid hears voices
calling him to play
and the turning in my bed
is an answer, if I hear it
There’s work to be done,
but not until my kid is breathless,
ruddy-cheeked and ready

Poetry Collection: The Smell of Tweed and Tobacco
This poem is included in
Jim Freeman’s
poetry collection


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