A steep hill separated our neighborhood
from the one where the other children lived.
A horse chestnut tree dominated the top of the ridge.
Every day, I picked up horse chestnuts
on the way to grade school.
Put them in my pockets.
On the way home, I threw them into the tall grass
in the field where pale green ranch houses
were erected a few years later,
or took them home and laid them out on the table beside my bed.
While I slept,
they grew dull and wrinkled.



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