Rough fences
Creaky and rhythmic swings
Palms sticky with pine sap
And smooth rocks in our hands
Dusty tan dirt coating them
Loose shirts with wide sleeves
Leaving our hats atop the wood pile
Cement circles of our handprints
With moist earth below
Glimmering with worms and grubs
Sun bleached bicycles
Donning neon helmets with itchy straps
Falling off
Scraped knees
One rolled up pant leg to give it some air
Cold October nights
The breeze smelling of dead leaves
Being pulled into a jacket before running off
Unused hood bouncing with each step
Digging holes without purpose
Twisted your ankle running through them
The garage air cloudy with sawdust
The shed smelling like stagnant water
The day when you decided you wanted to do anything to impress her.
Honey suckles
Breathing through them like a filter
Hiding in trees
Bark pinching your clothes as you climb down
Sitting together itching your feet
From running barefoot in the grass
Stepping through cobwebs
And fighting the ghostly strands
Maple seeds spinning as they fall
The place where the big tree stood
The place where the stump lay
And the circle of crabgrass where it used to be
Exclusively walking on the cracks between the sidewalk slabs
Twisting the rusty faucet
It staining your hand brick red
The hose lurching to life
Negection leading to backyard swamps
Flowers and fat bumblebees
Little white butterflies and yellow dandelions
Vibrant cardinals and standoffish bluejays
Gold finches
Chalk stained hands holding with their palm
Dusk covering us in a navy darkness
Bright orange light from the kitchen windows
Loathsome mosquitoes
Itchy bumps and pungent bug spray
Mulch stomped free of scent
Slivers clinging to undone shoelaces
A turtle shaped sandbox exposed to the weather
The crunch of pinecones underfoot
Anthills of foreign orange fragments
Sitting beside each other
Ripping apart waxy green leaves
Listening to every word
The trees urging the chimes to hush as the wind blows
The patter of rain
Dense clouds above
Always snapped
unless they were sturdy enough to be a weapon
Twitchy squirrels
Outspoken birds
Wandering felines
Vole carcasses
Forgotten feathers in tangled hair
Soaked shoes with Velcro flaps
Accidentally ripping the loops off the back

A life without purpose
Far away, yet easily recalled
The seed of joy and love
A blossom of that moment
Pressed flat and sealed
Never to age or die, though never to grow
Lost within the pages of time
Occasionally opened inadvertently
Other times intentionally
For it parts the pages ever so slightly
Leaving a thin shadow into the way things used to be.



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