I lingered past the somber walls,
the marble floors, and coffee shops,
gripped tightly to a Ziplock bag
and steered my suitcase, bleak with pride.
Their heeled boots marched with clanking steps
on grounds uniting friend and foe.
What scraggly hair and toothy grin,
itinerant devoid of guilt.

Though daunted, I turned back around
to bid farewell, for I was young,
knew little of the imminent,
with just a Ziplock bag in hand.
Passport, tickets, shooting eyes
from faces to familiar face;
each stride extended spaces in
between uncommon and mundane. 

The windows rattled in my ears
and there I dreamt and fantasized;
though sleepless, I drowned out the roars,
unlikely dreams I pondered of.
The grandeur of Elysian fields,
which welcomed us with crispy breath,
lay six feet under nival sheets
pristine as I had never seen. 

I danced along the cobblestone,
a child’s loony reveries,
walked past austere, unmoving arts,
and pondered over history.
Just twelve years old, but thence I found
extents of freedom past my sight
and past routine, the neighborhood
in which the lights were always on. 

Relief, for no assignments chased
across the seas to burden me,
for I did not wear uniforms,
and I no longer sat in class.
Ephemeral, but vivid glee,
for I could hunt through stores alone
and I could pay with rusted coins
uncovered in my pockets’ depths. 

Tomorrow, I’d be home again,
return to bland, prosaic life.
Today, the world remained as mine;
a lonesome traveler in time.
My fantasies prevailed as I
reentered the insipid doors,
my parents on the other side,
a Ziplock bag still in my hands.
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