I meant to walk to the cemetery
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but went instead to the park.
The children there were like autumn trees—
bright with frayed sweaters,
chattering noisily with the wind.
I sat at the edge of the pond
where they had built their castle of leaves.
The sky was bright blue.
It shimmered against the water
around cut-out geese
floating far from shore.
The dead leaves sifted
like gold coins through my fingers
as I cupped them in my hands,
and the wind swirled them into clouds
to dance among the children.