When we were young, very young and meek --
we would hide in desert places, under beds,
behind doors; the pursuer promised not to peek,
and closed his eyes and counted, and said:
“Ready, or not, here I come,” and with zeal
he would overturn every leaf and grain
of sand, until, our hiding place revealed,
we gave up. And then we played again –
all for the joy, and the fun, of being found.
For hours we ran through forests and hills,
and knelt quietly, not making a sound,
and waited: like statues, silent and still.
Just another children’s game: hide and seek.
We gathered with dearest enemies, foe-friends,
and hid and found till the sky turned bleak.
And like unsleeping, fearless, angels immortal –
we never grew hungry, and never grew dower;
so, when mom called us home at night fall,
we hesitated, then shouted, “One more hour.”
We were too honest not to love to pretend,
and too truthful not to love to deceive.
The Kindgom of Heaven belongs to children,
for they alone believe in make believe.
Just another game: aged children’s game;
but children are wiser than we aged fools!
For the game goes on, ever constant, the same;
we may change players, but never the rules.
The lover knows to seek, and also to hide.
It’s part of the game: fun, though fearful.
Best lovers play well, and do not despise;
those who won’t play leave angry, tearful.
They have forgotten the delight of surprise:
chiefest delight, which the humblest receive –
the humble, e'r children, believe in make believe.