Copyright © 2013 C.L. Mannarino
All rights reserved.

You’re a cheat, you little bastard. You live and die all too quickly. Your promise to arrive lasts for at least six months in advance and then you’re gone, not a whisper on the wind to signal your departure.

I know your kind, little one. The flighty, the bold, the scared, the insecure. You swell with indignation at the thought of any replacement, but then you leave again–you leave us with a bitter sorrow for your passing.

You’re beautiful, my darling boy. Raven-haired scoundrel with a mischievous glint in your eyes and a swagger to your step when you’re born. Then you grow old and golden and daring. Your hair turns bright red and your smile softens, lingers, falls. You’re as flighty as ever, but capture isn’t what you’re trying to escape.

You’ve come and gone again this year, you cruel minx. You stepped softly, knocking on my door, and then sat down with your hands hanging, heavy, between your knees. The world flickered around you, swirling around your limbs and into your heart, but your eyes stayed sad. They lingered on Pine Grove. They mourned previous years’ celebration.

“Leave this house,” I whispered. “You don’t need to stay here. Next year will be better.”

You nodded and took off. I’ll miss your presence.

Maybe next year.

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