Every Year

Every year

two children wandered up the hill behind my house,

holding hands as children do.

And every year

I watched them settle beneath an elm

and watched as the birds flocked all around them

their birdseed scattering to the wind.

And I listened as

the boy called to the older girl,

“Hey sister, do you want to play a game?”

And then they would talk for hours on end

As if the world had stopped for them.

I watched this happen every year

until the day

the birds did not arrive on time.

And an old woman came slowly up the hill

with a jar in one hand and a rock in the other

and walked up to that old elm


scattered the contents of the jar to the wind

and carved into the tree

“Well played.”

Then she sat beneath the tree for hours

Smiling as if the world had stopped for her.

And all I could do

as I made my way home

was wish I was part of their tale.





this is beautiful. truly.

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