Poem by John Thomson   •   Photo by Jill Burhans

In the stark black and
white sketches of October,

we watch small handfuls
of sparrows scatter.

Sip tea, talk of life
and death as the wind

swirls rain and dry leaves
in equal measure.

You embarrass me
with the short-trousered

evidence of the
boy I used to be.

Pressed to the past,
I think of schooldays.

The sweet, sour taste of
stolen crab apples,

hide and seek, marbles.

Your laughter lingers
in the room's arid air,

as spare and graceful
as the whisper of
wheat in autumn sun,

and I realise
you are not afraid.

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