It was late May when I met you. Looking back, I see it was perfect timing. School was almost over and summer was almost upon us. We spent Saturday afternoons watching things bloom and waiting for when we would have more than Saturday afternoons. We made love on blankets in your backyard and thought of us as the buds on the bushes, just waiting to burst into something beautiful.
But as school ended, work began. My father's farm wasn't doing so well and I had to do long days hauling and plowing and milking and shearing. When I wasn't exhausted from working all day (and sometimes even when I was) I'd sneak out and ride my bicycle across town and we'd sit by the old swing set in your backyard and express our disappointment that the summer was not the carefree, romantic bliss we had expected of it. But we still kept Saturday afternoons sacred. Everything was green and beautiful, and so were we.
Fall came and everything was dying. School was starting up again but I wasn't going back this year. There was too much work to be done. It was a crisp Saturday afternoon and you told me you were leaving, being sent away to an all-girls boarding school. We were standing under the oak in your backyard. Occasionally a leaf, orange as the setting September sun, would float down to the ground, fluttering in the breeze before finally coming to rest.
Looking back, I see it was perfect timing. We came, we blossomed, we died with the trees. Sometimes I walk through Central Park on sunny Saturday afternoons and wonder what ever became of my sweet summer beauty. Fall comes, and I remember.