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My thoughts are ghostly

like autumn wind

through fading leaves,


a reminder that the time has come

to cast away our summer skin

and become one year older.

I remember

That year we stood in changing light

on changing ground where we had grown;

from there we watched the curtain fall

upon our childhood.

We wanted to feel the last of it,

Then we wanted to make the feeling last;

We were adrift and clinging

to the bones we knew as children,

but we forgot to watch as they

had steadily grown longer.

So we tucked our shirts

and laced new shoes

and knew that this new skin

would stay a while.

The time had come to leave our mother;

still we had no direction.

And we forgot

that we left something behind then.

It was something like this:

You gave me an empty book

I didn’t understand

it was only a place to start

with no direction.

I had nothing to say

you didn’t understand

because you couldn’t read

without words.

You had the heart of a child

and you didn’t know me

and I couldn’t know

that I didn’t know you

for I didn’t know me

and I had only the heart of a child.

I gave you an empty book

You didn’t understand

You had nothing to say

I didn’t understand

because I couldn’t read without words.

Years later:

From here I see the city, half alive,

and half alive, we are but gnarled figures

stretched out on the snow.

But I can make it through the day,

And I will make it through the next one,

and soon I will have made it through

another winter.

(so it will be until I have grown old.)

There is a child playing in the snow

who doesn't know how soon he will be older,

and his laughter will no longer be

the laughter of a child.

I am ghostly,

with the heart of a child

left beating in the summer skin

that I once left behind.


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