Places | Ted Bowman
Our games included safe places:
Bases where we were safe, free;
Lines that the monster intruder could not cross;
Areas off limits, out of the game;
Parents around whose legs we wrapped ourselves yelling,
“You can’t get me, I’m safe here!”
I’m still looking for safe places.
But, the fears inside me
Seem to know the safe places I seek.
They wait there patiently for my arrival.
Courage and faith, my only legs left to stand on.
Our games included imagined places
Where, for as long as the game lasted,
We were smart, strong, and in charge.
In those brief moments
Possibilities overcame barriers;
The world was ours.
I still play the same game
Hoping that before my time expires
I can be smarter, stronger, and in charge
Just long enough for
Imagination to open its doors
Inviting me through.
We played house.
Sometimes I was the father,
Sometimes a child,
Sometimes a teacher or cop.
House was wherever we were playing.
We didn’t play home; we played house.
I know that home is more than place.
Still . . . place,
A loving place,
Place that you can count on
Makes home easier.
I wish my children could play house
In our home.