A car horn turns the ankle of a thought and I catch myself just before I drop into the gutter but not quite quick enough to avoid a do-si-do with a stranger. He laughs, I laugh, and we each go our separate ways. I don't know how I got here. I'm in the seedy side of town.
The last thing I recall is the shortcut through the park, the rain-wet conkers. There's one in my coat pocket, still warm. I must have been nursing it only moments ago. There was a sycamore breeze through the bandstand. And robin song. Yes, that was when I got waylaid, when my mind started wandering in altogether the wrong kind of shoes.
And so I find myself on the cusp of fifty.
of autumn leaves . . .