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Remembering

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See her skin
Pale as the clouds hovering above us
Our hands palm to palm
Light against dark

Her mother lets us play
Only in her sight
Eyes sharp
Never missing a thing
Like a hawk
Only not as kind

We climb a tree
The one in the back
Its branches spread out
Reaching for the sky

We say we will climb all the way
Get to the top
See how the world looks from heaven

We scrape our hands coming down
Identical pearls of red run down our skin
Red against black
Red against white
Different
But the same
We clasp our hands
Joining us together forever

The peroxide stings
More than the scrape
We blow on each other's skin
Giggling, as we jump around
Pretending it hurts more than it does

My mother comes to get me
We hug
Say our good-byes
While our mothers stand stiff and straight
Casting shadows upon us

They talk about the weather
And us
The only things they have in common

I wave to you as we leave
Watch as your mother grabs your arm
Tugs you away

You reach out with your hand
The blue of your band-aid calls to mine
I press my hand against the window
Watch long after you disappear
It's the last time I see you

Years later,
I sit
Watching my daughter.

She and her friend
Build a fort with sticks and imagination.
Their skin
As different as night and day.
Like we were.

I turn to her mother,
My best friend.
I smile and think of you.



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