Grown Up

by Hannah K

Peter is old now, very old—
twenty-six at least.
He’s got a job in Charing Cross, he takes
the bus, and pays the fees and
even when he speaks to me
he never speaks of Neverland.

One day he woke and felt a beard
sprouting like jungle moss on earth.
And oh—his heart—poor Peter Pan
his heart, it gulped and welled
with tears that broke the spell.
He fell that day, second star to the right
still alight with sprightly laughter,
tumbling down to Battersea.

Peter is wise now, very wise—
his cockiness all gone.
He’s done with bedtime story things, he eats
his greens, and feeds the dog and
when we walk in Kensington
he never talks of Neverland.

But there is hope for Peter Pan
acting so grown-up and absurd.
I know there’s hope because I saw
a little scene on Bowling Green—

Peter Pan, alive, alight, jeans pressed in
to the tender earth.
On his lap, a child, a smile
in his eyes a sparkle, spark
of mermaid laughter, breaking through
fairy dust riddles and pirate tunes
and one above all—I lean in to hear—
it’s slipped from the lips all covered in beard
it is Pan—Peter Pan, with youth in his hand
singing a song of Neverland.

Hannah K is a third culture kid still trying to figure out where she belongs. She studies child development and international service at Texas Christian University.

Photography by Kenneth Godoy

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