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Walking on Rosh Hashonah
by Carol Aronoff
On holidays when we couldn't drive,
we would walk long, lingering walks
to the botanical gardens in East Bronx.
Usually, skies were autumn azure
over red and ochre crunching leaves,
brick walls curling inward to hold their warmth.
Brisk air lifted our footsteps to trail sloped
roofs. We swung my brother between us,
crossing streets wide as new moon's smile.
Mostly, I remember shades of my father's love:
sweet gold patience as he clasped my hand,
his laugh shy as early persimmon.
What I don't remember are the colors
of flowers or shapes of trees in the garden
of these tender moments I tucked into pockets
of my New Year's skirt. Later, I would take
them out and smooth their crinkled edges,
recalling the sadness in my father's eyes.
from her book Her Soup Made the Moon Weep