Autumn’s Cathedral

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“What’s she doing, mommy?”

The little boy nudges his mother, who is navigating a grassy park.  The rubber wheels of the stroller she pushes whoosh through leaves leached into shades of mustard and tan.

The boy peeks around his mother at me and at the ground beneath my feet.

I’m an oddity here.

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At a preschooler’s eye level, brilliant vermillion fall flowers still hold ballet poses against a seamless blue sky.

I am fixated on “gorgeous ruin,” like that on the pathway where poet Carol Ann Duffy’s child-self trailed her dead father.

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