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Grand

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This morning feels clean and crisp and grand, the happy weather an apology for the inherent ache attached to Monday. Sunshine hits the few leaves left clinging to cold November branches, letting subtle flickers of fall win through. When coordinated by the breeze, however, the trees are set ablaze. Calm splashes of blue atmosphere act as the only saving aid.
A little girl with tangled blonde curls talks her dad’s ear off about some first grade philosophy, her eyes never wavering from his salt-and-pepper framed smile. She’s in sneakers tied too hastily and a green jacket zipped all the way up, and her blue eyes sparkle as she skips along side the patient listener. Swinging back and forth with his broad, definite steps is a bubblegum pink backpack dangling from the valley of his bent left arm. A briefcase, black to match his stiff peacoat, sways less cheerily from the other. Steam escapes in bursts from the sipping slip in his travel mug but is quickly scared into nothing by the frigid air. His face is marked by laugh lines and thick graying eyebrows, the hair on his head on its way to white.
Together the pair walks hand-in-hand toward the family car. The vehicle, some variation on a minivan, is gray like ordinary but worn like used, loved. In the warm rays of eight a.m. sun the picture as a whole omits a soft nostalgic glow. The only sound is echoes of the breeze.
She hops in the back seat eagerly and the slam of the door sounds sharp, like growing up. The pavement underneath feels hard and cold. Cloudless and endless and still, overhead is only aching sky.



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