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Just the Little Things

Poetry By: Stephanie Smallshaw

A tribute to the innocence of childhood.

Submitted:Jan 3, 2012    Reads: 33    Comments: 6    Likes: 2   

My sneakers crunch against

The dead leaves that are scattered

On the ground, the crisp autumn air

Nipping at my cheeks, biting

On my ears.

The world is silent except

For the sound of my feet scratching at

The gravel on the side of the road,

A small break in the deafening

Silence that engulfs my neighborhood.

The scent of autumn takes me

To another time. I look to my

Right and see a younger version

Of myself, frolicking in the multi-colored

Leaves on the ground, dumping

Handfuls into the hair

Of my sister.

My dad, who still has a head

Full of hair, points the leaf

Blower at me and sets it off,

Blowing away the tiny particles

Of the leaves that had stuck to me.

I turn to my left and see my

Mother, who still has that ratty old

Turtle neck, raking the leaves with

A triumphant look on her face as

She steps back and examines the growing

Pile of leaves that she is creating.

My younger brother, still a baby,

Crawls to the leaf pile and dives in

Face-first. My mom and dad rush over

To pull him up again while my sister

And I toss the leaves into the air,

Letting them scatter on our heads and shoulders.

My brother is now sitting upright on the

Ground, clutching an earthworm in

His grubby fingers. My mother screams

When she sees it, and my dad

And I laugh at her reaction.

Muted laughter.

The laughter fades, as does

The younger version of my

Family. The leaves flutter to

The ground, and a gust of wind hits

Our leaf tower, making it topple to the ground

And spread over the lawn again.

I am alone, walking with my

Hands in my pockets as

The brittle leaves crinkle under my

Feet. Goose bumps prickle

On my arms as the chilly autumn

Breeze brushes by my skin.

I inhale the fresh, sharp

Air that surrounds me. A

Wave of nostalgia nearly knocks

Me over, and I stop to take it all in.

After a few moments, I resume

My walk again, but this time in my

Mind. Cautiously, warily, I peek

Through the folds of my memory,

Where I store the thoughts that

I never want to forget.


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