by Tobi Cogswell

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Our hiking boots have red laces.
Mine, because I want to look young.
Yours, because you are an artist
making a statement against the
browns the greens the grays.

We crunch large leaves together,
leave jagged mosaics behind
to be blown the ways of the wind -
the shattering of another season.

We sing and speak of mindless
sensitivities.  I know nothing
about you or who you are.

Your women friends are beautiful,
I am the hushed one who waits
and answers when spoken to.
Our red strides match but we
do not touch – you are afraid
of me and I of you.  It is complicated
and yet uncomplicated.

Our lives expand exquisitely and
geometrically to include each other,
but the clock berates us in this
undertaking.  We shrug and talk
but do not talk.  We check our watches.

The trees hang leaves that look like
tear drops falling from masks,
hiding their souls within a
camouflage much the same as
our quiet walks hide our fright.


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