He sits in a clearing,
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the wind tousling his chestnut curls.
Marmalade leaves dance, swaying
on maple branches that extend like arms
from a vast body.
Some have been wrenched from their home,
but find solace, and peace,
a group of leaves swirl past him into the distance,
laughing as they go.
He sits, with his toes tasting the crystal
waters of the pond. With stealth,
the autumn woods make a brilliant, calculated
blow to his heart, melting his worries
as if they were ice.
But his paradise is not eternal. His moment lasts
only a short while, like a cloud passing over the sun.
His eyes become glazed, and a hurricane
of resentment, of helplessness, of fear,
crashes once more into his soul and mind.
Fresh waves of pain course through his
arms, pinned by jagged knees,
and his legs, sprained from desperation
to lock them together.
The water starts to splash on his feet— he’s
shaking. A scream rises, unstoppable,
through his stomach into the back
of his burning throat, he tilts his head to the sky
and stops. Up in the air, a Blue Jay carries a golden leaf
in her beak. For a second he is stunned, and then it seems to him
that their eyes met,
and she understands him. He softens,
and a cloud passes over once more.
Someday, I'll write a story about dodgeball and they'll make it into a movie.