Words and Images

Reflections of the Past

Strolling down the dark, unforgiving avenue his eye caught on a flash of brilliant crimson.  Faintly, he heard the carefree laughter of his past; the excited shrieks of a young boy proudly showing off while his mother’s laughter wrapped him in a warm cocoon.  He blinked and the once red wagon now sat abandoned, encrusted with dirt.  The frigid breeze had whisked away the laughter until all that was left was a hollow echo.  The sky seemed to close in, the gray clouds despondent and listless, leaving him alone with his thoughts.  The ice crunched loudly under his weathered boots and each resounding footfall made him feel more alone in the silent city.  He gazed pensively across the barren, unending charcoal of the sky, watching over the uninhabited streets.  He glanced down for a moment, taking in the silhouette of lifeless branches in the puddle at his feet.  He paused, slowly tracing the contours of his face, each wrinkle reflected in the aged gnarly limbs of the tree.  Wearily, he trudged on, hoping the rain would wash away the thoughts that plagued him each waking moment.  He clung onto his past of ice cream cones, shiny new toys, and warm smiles, but eventually reality set in.  Jobless, loveless, and hopeless he longed to return to a simpler life. He continued on his way, wandering aimlessly until out of the corner of his eye he saw a small spot of color in the unending gray.  He stooped to pick up the small object, a brilliant crimson maple leaf.  A reminder of the blazing autumn in the dead of winter, reflections of a past long ago, but at the same time a small emblem of hope.  For a better life.  For the future. –by Stephanie


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