Nostalgia the Negotiator
Updated: Feb 7, 2022
Nostalgia is a tricky fella
Tricky, tricky, tricky
Nostalgia could claim your parents’ healing
in trade of a night in the basement playing school with your neighbor,
pretending to grade papers,
and tuning out stomps and quarrels on the ceiling.
Nostalgia wants to take the way you think for yourself
and compensate you with that former taste
in jokes you shared with everyone in your name.
Nostalgia says a firm “No.” to running your own errands, trips, and gigs,
and commands you to stay asleep in the back seat
as one of the kids.
Nostalgia wants you to wait forever for nothing, no reason.
It wants to wipe away all the progress you’ve made
so that ‘Tis the season’s definition
won’t stray from tradition.
Nostalgia is literally trying to fit into your baby socks.
It should be embarrassing,
it should not work,
it should probably, definitely, stay in its box.
I write this as my first grandparent has just died,
as I persistently try
to not turn twelve again the day after I arrive home,
as I wear a t-shirt from my high school
that I bought secondhand in my college town
and reads, “student athlete of the month” because irony is in style,
as I exercise my throat chakra on paper,
and assert my intuition that sooner rather than later,
I just will move away.