when I was a king
When we were kids, us from one, maybe two streets, we’d play in our yards, backyards, front yards, sometimes we’d ride three-speed bikes on tar sidewalks, maybe down the middle of the street, daringly, possibly all around the big block of High Street and Low Street. Adults would see us, looking out from behind windows, maybe in lawn chairs, and they would say, “Look at those kings.”
Often our dogs would play with us too. As our friends. As our companions. As our equals. Smarter than us. You’d look at them and say thanks for being friends and they’d stare that unwavering stare of devotion, and they were royals as well.
Sometimes, when I’ve been being all kingly and such, people have sought me out, they’ve come to where they knew I was – an apartment, a coffee shop, a guidance office. Or they’d call – knowing my number; knowing my area code. They came to me because they wanted me to tell them they were better than they felt they were. They knew I ‘d tell them they were because I had before. I always had. And they knew I always would. I’d say, “You’re a blessing.” I’d say, “You’re a gift.” I’d say, “Ain’t no one like you but you.” I would hold up my kingly mirror, it affirmed their special, and I’d scrunch around and get a sideways glance at their direct-ahead stare, and I’d say, “See, I told you. So much to give, everything to share, to let the world in on.” And they would say “Thank you king” and head home, or back to work, or back to second period.
Kings know accepting is more kingly than giving – I know that, being a king again – and I say yes and thank you and you go, girl and right on, bro, and I sit in the backyard with butterflies, I sit on the bench high above the ocean, I sit with a coffee in a straight chair and I see the wonder of it all. And I think, how royal of me.
Kings are always counting their blessings.