I found a poem from 2003 from my old Compaq Presario; actually, I found quite a few. But I’ll share them one by one. First the original poem from 2003, then an on-the-spot rewrite, as a sort of answer to my 15-year-old self.
“Hide and Seek,” by 15-year-old Alexa
Hush your breath
Try not to speak
The world is colder
Hide and seek
The closet door
Don’t say a word
Close your eyes
and don’t be heard
and whisper less
trying to catch
what caused this mess
Afraid to try
and be found again
One more time
and count to ten.
Hide and Seek,” by 27-year-old Alexa
I count to the door:
One, two, three,
and hear a giggle, because someone knows
I’m cheating, peeking past open fingers,
closing my eyes into paper-thin slits
and squinting hard into the darkness,
as they would do,
if they were still the seeker.
But I never would have been here
counting to a wall
if I had only been more careful,
traded giggles for the concealed silence
my grandma called patience
and self reflection.
But hunger had led me astray,
a stomach so full of grumble
I couldn’t help but laugh,
the aftermath inevitable
as my laughter sank warily into the dark
and I was found;
hands enclosed around a cookie,
answering the long unanswered question of child song, Who stole it?
It was me.
My mouth full and my heart heavy,
I allowed myself to be tagged,
prize in hand,
forced to chase after laughter in the dark.