Poem: I was five

July Wen '25, Author

I was five

& my friends would ride bikes

& I would run

Chasing their laughters

I’d fall

Scrape a knee

& Grandma would

Blame the rocks

For my wound

& tears


I was five

& Grandpa would teach me to swim

& I would run

From the boredom

Of kicking my legs

On our old flax sofa

And jump

Straight into the pool


While he smiles

& shakes his head


I was five

& the snow would fall

& I would run

Into the knee-deep coldness

To build myself

A best friend

Who’s there for me

For two

& a half days


I was five

& my aunt would cook

& I would run

Into Mother’s arms

Put my freezing hands

Onto the warm, white heater

Stained by

Drops of coffee from

Last autumn

I’m not five

& the clock still ticks

& I don’t run

‘Cause they sold the house I grew up in

& I no longer have friends to chase

Or swimming lessons

Or warm heaters

Or snows in my hometown that would last

Until the next sunrise

But I was five

& I would run