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  • I wandered without thinking
    Across the bridge and along the tracks
    Past where the tarred road ends
    Seems I walked this way before

    I remember,
    the air confetti bright with falling leaves
    the scritch of a rake along the pavement
    piles of gold and red and brown among the last lush green
    whoops and hollers as kids dove in,
    wood smoke and cinnamon,
    glowing jack o’ lanterns
    daring the coming night

    But today,
    I passed shadow-shrouded yards
    tattered scarecrow jacks standing guard over weeds grown rank and wild
    empty tire swings twisting silently,
    and on the cracked and worn porch steps
    ranks of frost bit punkins slumped,
    once, a torn curtain shifted,
    some pale shadow flickered,
    maybe a face behind the smudge streaked window
    maybe an odd and passing chance of light

    A chained dog lunged
    Teeth bared
    The rusty links taut and tight about his neck
    His breath smoked in the growing chill
    I glanced at the house behind him
    peeling paint, roof line sprung
    merging with the twilight
    as though sinking towards the pull of some dark gravity

    I wondered who still lived here
    Among these long abandoned dreams.
    Surely, it’s not been so long.
    What’s come of memory lane?
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