By Aliya Axelrad
Do you remember the wings you once had?
The feeling of laughing so hard that you cry?
Sometimes I cry so hard that I laugh
It’s funny how when I was 8 and a half I was wishing I was older
But now I long for those wings again, to smile more often than not
When I was younger, I was better at forgetting
Do you remember the first time you had deja-vu?
Sitting in the leaves, watching the clouds slip on their boots and shuffle across the sky
The sun on your cheeks and that playful breeze in your hair
I've been here before
I've felt this before
Now i get deja-vu when I cry, when I’m drowning in memories
My Ignorance was beautiful
My bubble was safe
But the warm glow of the sun burned me
Do you remember when your eyes were telescopes?
Observing things too close to see?
Sometimes I look at things the way I used to
I jump and I fly and I write and I draw with my favorite blue crayon
But I'm still without my wings
And I still don't know what I'm doing here
Do you remember waiting for your first kiss?
Imagining what it would be like?
But really it was disgusting
Do you remember that drunk perfection?
That naive happiness?
Do you remember when your shadow was your friend?
Do you remember falling asleep to wake up in the morning instead of falling asleep to forget?
Do you remember a little girl with big brown eyes and golden wings?
A little girl who loved her birthday and cloudy days?
A little girl who would be afraid if she knew they would lock her in a cage like a sad bird?
A little girl who over the years would soon see through your eyes..
And forget about the wings she once had
Aliya Axelrad won a REGIONAL GOLD KEY in the 2020-2021 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for this poem.