So I Can Fall

by Carolin Messier

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Just one more minute, Mom
to chase pigeons,
race to the flag,
skip stones,
and dance with the tie-dyed girl
with the hula hoop and torn jeans
just like mine.

My skinned knee has healed,
my tears have dried
and are forgotten
even if you haven’t –
the ones I shed
as you held me in your lap
and comforted me
and cleaned my scrape
full of gravel from the hilly driveway
when I said I wasn’t too little
and stood on Jake’s skateboard.

Please just one more minute, Mom
to learn a new trick,
test my metal,
and push the boundaries of boyhood
even though you’ll cry alone
when my arm is set
after my near-miss
with the neighbor’s car
and my heart is crushed
by the first girl
who stops loving me.

Just one more minute, Mom
so I can fall and crash and fail
as I learn to be
a man you will admire.