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Memory of Lost Innocence
We were just kids running down the hillside, with youthful spontaneity marking the passage of time. No beaten path, we just flowed where our little hearts took us, wedging our way through the Norwegian landscape. And where on this day, as I look back, trees knelt at the altar for one of us, flanked by the under bushes of sweet blueberries and rhubarb bowing in prayer. Off to the side a spectacular lake filled with trout would soon spawn tears, as flying bugs above the surface held curiosity and impending empathy. We kept pace with the afternoon sun, as it, too, would hemorrhage into the horizon and into the fjord below, bleeding red and sad. It was if nature could see doom coming.
The sound of music
Plays harmonious nature
For one, short lived song
I remember our scampering feet breaking the silence of the forest, twigs and laughter flying in our wake. Butterflies flirting with our youth and innocence. It was just the three of us, second graders at the time, who grew up on the Monkeys, Beetles and the Viet Nam war and whom really didn't have a care in the world, except to race towards the water's edge where canoes tucked away for our arrival. We loved the discoveries of the fjord. The seagulls hanging in the sky, their long wings flapping, squalls competing with their squeals. The canoes clinging on to us like teddy bears. During past occasions, we, her brother, sister and I, would look on, with fairy tale eyes basking in the long summer days of the blue as it paid dividends. Later on that day as the sun went down, weeping, life would never be the same again.
Baby of the sheep
Eyes wide, wandering, from flock
We're so so sorry
We continued racing down the hill. Our hair blowing in the wind, the exertion child's play, rewarding, as we come closer to the blue. At her crossroads, of her life, on one side stood the fjord and on the other a long winding road with a blinding turn that sometimes had rushing cars speed by. Today there was one, carrying votive candles. We ran, as we saw the car coming, her brother's sister, listening for her cue-go, and she ran. She ran as fast as her innocent little legs could go. It wasn't enough. The car hit her square, her body, I remember catapulted up in the air, bouncing off the roof of the car the life draining from her. The mournful sequence played in my mind infinite number of times fifty years later-the driver's scream, her brother trying to awaken her torn body. Pools of blood. But it's … but it's … but it's the look in her vacant eyes I remember the most. Her lips carrying her last words-"come home."
In the aftermath
Red summer night, seagulls cry
Her blue now in sky
Dust Off A Memory - Poetry Contest
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