I could have spent the rest of my days walking home from school with you in those twilit summer hours when the earth kept us warm with its radiant heat, fitting my fingers into your wide-knuckled hands.
Tall and whipthin, you cast a shadow over me as we walked. East of you, I would pull the mantle of your shadow around my bare, freckled shoulders. Happy. Happy beyond the realm of reason or rhyme.
But time slinks and expands – an algal bloom blighting the surface of a clear wide pond. Our planet forces us along as it makes its circuit around the sun, shrinking shadows or angling them another direction leading onward and away.