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by Irene Sipos

Oh little girl when you

were my little girl for real

we would go and gather

armfuls of leaves, maples 

especially, setting flame

to sidewalks all around us, how 

could we resist? We captured them 

and brought them home to iron

and press between layers of crinkly 

waxed paper to scatter on tables

and tape on windows. Soon they would 

crumble and disappear as you, darling, are
not with me today so I must collect yellow,

orange and red beauties to place in an envelope 

addressed to you three thousand miles away.

"Jungle Fern" by Wendy Caldwell Maloney. Watercolor.

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