Fall reminds me of days tripped over broken
sidewalk bits and wrinkled coffee-colored
leaves on the way back from fourth grade.
Leaves went from green to brown.
There was no gold on the way
to Stanley Homes Village from West Side Complex.
Fall was a return to school where fearful boys
with no fathers chased me home.
I was fatherless and fearful, too.
I was afraid of them. They were afraid of the world.
The world was afraid of us.
With all that fear
no one took a moment to understand.
We were just children. All of us.
Me. The boys. The world.