4. Playground Blues

The rubber playground flooring

feels bouncy under your feet,

makes you remember

your childhood dreams


of becoming an astronaut

and walking on the Moon.

But it’s just a safety thing here,

and that annoys you:


you cherish your scars

and would like to think

they’ve taught you something

(although you’re not too sure).


So, are you just getting old

(“it didn’t use to be like this”),

or are we becoming soft—

are you becoming soft,


with your diet and exercise,

and with your work, of course,

which takes place in the space

of an open plan office?


A dead pigeon lies under the tree,

as if to prove your point:

pain can’t be contained.

Anyway, you’re not old,


just unlucky

to have lost someone already,

which, frankly, has taught you nothing,

nothing at all.


And if what you need now

is a meditation app

and a job with benefits,

isn’t that your right?


Well, let’s say it is, at least as long as

you still are unafraid

to scrape your knees

on the hard ground.