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Nutshells on patched linoleum,
cracks skipped over
on the long sidewalk home,
hide-and-go-seek game
we stopped counting.

Still sometimes we hunt
for that small face,
ragged sleeve above
a chapped hand.
We search beneath
decayed porches, through
yards full of dry weeds
and rusted cans.

The blown years blanket
our steps, leaving
only here and there
a dull gleam like spent
cartridges beneath
another Autumn’s leaves.

B. R. Strahan