Give me now the cheerfulness and fearlessness of our youth,
Back when we knew they were our lives, embodied our truth.
Towels we used to make super hero capes with paper masks;
Innocence our strength to conquer all our Sisyphithian tasks.
Heroes all, though one day as Indians, the next day cowboys.
Imagination’s fires lit, more magical than any children’s toys.
Climbed to the top of every mountain, to be king of the hill;
Cast down, defeated, which mother’s love made less than nil.
Held us, helped us, sent us back to conquer worlds unknown.
Growing in sunlight, fresh air, no video games and no phone.
Adventure daily plotted by, with friends and erstwhile cohorts,
Comrades, brothers; haughty sisters teased with sneers, snorts.
Till a day when feminine looks, charms capture our attention.
Friends from youth lost, ignored without conscious intention.
Seen but changed, all our gazes now looking up and outward,
To heed life’s imperative, abandon play upon the greensward.
No swimming holes, fishing holes, our secret forts and caves,
Where we plotted our greatest conquest in sheltered enclaves.
Memories of triumph, failure, seen through the gauze of time,
Buried deep in our mind’s dungeons, too challenging to climb.
Could we, might we, ever reclaim the innocence of childhood?
Friends enemies, enemies friends, something all understood.
May we somehow shed the shackles of stress and simply play,
Contest, if we must with imagination, invention an hour a day?
If we abandoned our toys and play at war we’d improve our lot,
Yet toy guns and pointed fingers hold no threat of a burial plot.
Cap-bangs, children’s piping cries: got you, followed by did not;
We don to play, doff at end of day, the reasons why we fought.
What a world, where we train children as merchants of death.
Death, a daily diet, we fill them with hate until our final breath.
Fools we are, fools we remain, believing the die has been cast.
Pain embellished years; living in the present, dying for the past.
When men and women recall how to play like girls and boys,
So innocent imagination with each dawn all possibility deploys,
And nothing ever so important that we must always kill or die.
Or will future beings view our past, ask only one question, why?
Peace is Purpose, Nonviolence is Strength, Diversity is Unity, Empathy is Empowerment
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