DAVID ALTWEGER

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//When I was a little boy,

my mind couldn’t understand the grief I carried in my little heart and all my little feelings were tainted with shame.

 

School felt like a huge cold rock, crushing my little self,

and every day I failed to fulfil what was expected of me.

Instead of learning to learn I learned to disappoint.

 

One day in Autumn, walking to school, I decided to hide.

I snuck into a little forest and found a little hollow underneath the branches.

Covered by the thicket above, the softest moss and dead leaves beneath me,

I lay down and curled up.

//The forest had swallowed me.

I could smell the earth.

Faint, golden beams of sunlight were painting intricate, flickering patterns onto my skin, revealing little bugs dancing in the air around me.

I could hear the wind and the rustling of leaves and buzzing and crawling nothing else.

I lay still for what felt like a long, long time,

until my little fingers were stiff and cold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At some point I crawled out of my little hollow,

slowly walking towards the house,

a little lie on my lips.

I told my mother that I had fallen Ill and

that I had thrown up and

that the nurse had sent me home for the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many years and many lies later,

 

little by little,

 

I realised that the little boy I was then had never left the little hollow in the forest.

He was waiting there for me still,

under the branches,

on the softest moss.//

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