Sadness isn’t the word I’m looking for

In the woods, I pick mushrooms

remembering the shape of flowers

in my old country, green tendrils

like telephone coils around my pinky.

The musty air; a tin pail filled

with illegible words. My heart's

faulty plumbing makes faraway

rumbling sounds in my ear

while I sleep. My daughters

in sunlight, in red dresses,

practicing walking on the grass.

Sometimes, tears slip out before

I wake. Like sleepwalkers, their out-

stretched arms feel their way down 

the quiet corridor. I tell myself there 

should be grass to cushion their fall.

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