Vassar Student Review

Vassar Student Review

Neverland


Andy Kasper

Tucked away in the place that will never sink, they play in the land of bedtime stories never told right,
scarves knotted around small sweaty foreheads, every day posturing a new adventure, taking flight in the same familiar skies.
They would whistle their notes into the surface of the clouds, never worry whether they’d fall down,
for the ancient untouched forest floor would catch them. A forever of innocence untainted by the rising tide,
which will never sink their ship, nor bury them with the gleaming golds and illustrious treasures they seek under the sea—
they are the lost boys, always carefree, always without a worry of how terrifying life may be.
Never would they face the tempestuous tempers of parents unrequited feelings of failure
or spawn children of their own. Their family tree became linear, a seed nestled under layers of hand-dug topsoil,
the kind that would never really grow a strong tree, but sprouted iron wood, while their palms remained un-callused.
Peter’s thoughts always remained elsewhere.
He would watch the skies he would soar in the day at night, after his little ones had gone to bed,
and wonder when the stars would fully fade away, and the moon would become too ambitious and swallow the sun.
Ordained to forever run without moving, attempt to escape his very own shadow and never reach the dusk,
he filled his time with hand-lopping fun, cliff diving beach days under the sun, and when they all returned to camp,
they would play the tunes of heroes, the ones who almost always won.
And while the little ones drift to good dreams, instead of counting sheep, his herd begins to wander to her.
How could he up the ante, make his next trick more daring, more gutsy, obtain the hero’s story that would always be remembered.
Make the world love him so much, that even she couldn’t leave him—
when it hits him.
His stories are stagnant, they would never travel across the bay to the green light where she stayed. His death never be untimely,
never grasp the feeling of almost godhood. With no end to the movie reel, no final page, he would forever be stuck,
told as the extraordinarily ordinary boy who would never grow up.
He lies awake, wondering what she thought of her taste of eternal youth.
Youth with no portrait, no corruption, a land solely an escape from modern confusion, where he would hide forever.
She wouldn’t have to worry—she would return to her earth in the morning, when the moon dips into the sea,
and he would have to grapple with what he would never leave.
Grapple with how his kleos would be lost to the Tick Tock, and his tales would never reverberate through the thoughts
of those other than his little lost companions, who were too young to ever feel anything but admiration.

The next day he would go on, let the boys know nothing was wrong,
and stare empty headed toward the horizon, where the fish spit out the sun,
nothing to do but wait for Wendy to return

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