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Childhood
(Springfield)

In the woods

you can walk in any direction,

never run out of things to do or see; as kids

we roamed under pitch-pine trees

every day, old junk we found was proof

of ancient worlds just beneath our feet

from a heyday — any — sometime before 1970

which didn’t matter much since we

were starting our own society, building forts

above and below the ground, counting pink lady-slippers

in season, on slender footpaths through the blue-stem grass

and sweetfern scent and cicada twist and wind

for sounds, on a summer day, with the mourning-dove

and the blue-jay, on that outwash of gravelly sand

we were free, to go far and wide, and did,

and wherever we went, it seemed

we were just starting to live.

— Mike Mauri

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