Wild and Free

By Hayley Zemontas 

Today I watched you carving trails in the sandpit,  
back and forth with red plastic spades. 
Already marking your place in the world;  
sifting stones and mud in the shade. 
Sand crusting your legs, the wisps of your hair. 
Muck embedded in the crease of your knees,  
and I thought, yes my babies, be free! 
Smear the earth upon your skin.  
Bask in rainwater and it’s cold sting.  
Let the grass stain your dress. 
Roll and crawl and make a mess.  
Explore the jungle of your own backyard.  
Hear the crunch and shush of leaves.  
Crane your neck to find faces in the clouds,  
and when you’re older, climb the boughs of trees. 
Yes my little girls, be free! 
Free and unafraid of dirt; 
touch and taste; dive in headfirst.  
Notice all the tiny wonders of the world-  
the sheen of dew soaked grass, snail shells so tightly curled. 
Such treasures you can hold in your little palm, 
in pockets and boxes, squirrelled away.  
Make sand pies, pebble studded mud cakes 
with a wooden spoon and battered tray.  
Yes my darlings, run free! 
As free as children should be allowed. 
Play carelessly; sing and shout. 
Feel the wind ripple against your face.  
Jump and jog till your legs ache. 
Embrace these years; be wild and free, 
for all too soon, they’ll be just a memory.  


Hayley Zemontas is a first-time mum to twin girls. She loves writing poetry and finds it very therapeutic. You can find her on her Facebook page.

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