Thank you Kayli for sharing your memories of childhood play and reminding us of the simple joys we often lose sight of in our busy adult lives.


Tapping Back

Kayli Wren


Remember the way we searched for sunbeams,

Those rays that fell on everything –

They bounced off our tin-roof house

And pushed through purple wild flower petals

They sprang from the ripples of skipped stones on water

And skated along the tops of clouds

Shafts of light fell from windows and created channels for dust motes

And there we danced with the floating specks.


Remember the way we felt the rain,

The drops that knocked on our windows –

We mirrored each beat with our fingertips,

Tapping out our own rhythm against the glass.

Running outside, the sky’s tears fell on our smiling, upturned cheeks;

Our dancing bodies spun in time with nature’s song

And when the water filled our rain boots,

We took them off and ran with barefoot glee

Through the storm.


Remember how we played –

Last night’s rain water sloshed around inside the tire swing out back,

Spilling out onto our grassy carpet.

The ropes of our pulley system for apple slices and peanut butter

Dangled from the tree with low hanging branches.

We left scented markers from our drawings of stick figure families

Scattered on the kitchen table

And fairy homes among oak tree roots.


The puffy ballerina skirts were replaced

With torn-on-purpose jeans.

Macaroni necklaces exchanged for mascara and blush,

Then dust motes and drawings and swing sets

For plane rides and salaries and wedding rings.


Never forget that we once chased twinkling lightning bugs,

Clutching mason jars with hole punched lids.

And sometimes when a thunderstorm comes my way,

I’ll tap out our song against a window pane

And swear I hear you tapping back.


*Photograph: Alejandra Jara