On Being Seventeen

After seventeen years of
Living and breathing and feeling
I almost want to rewind everything
And start over again
To take the home video
And pop it in the VCR
Press the double, left-facing arrows
And watch that baby roll

Backward, to where bikes
Were all we had to get around
Speeding every inch of rubber
Off of those blue demons
We raced down the dirt road
Like all we held dear was a mile away
And we’d fall and jump up, starting again
Like fresh legs on a morning run

But now it sits there in its malign majesty
Propped against the chipped and battered barn
With deflated wheels and a crooked steering wheel
That was wrecked the day I never fixed it
The day I turned seventeen

Now when I walk out on that same road
I feel my feet sink in the soft dirt
I don’t even know what I need
I trip and my skin opens, and I bleed

by Tim Larsen

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