by Kayla Eby

The day Pat turned ten
she went looking for gold.
Pickax over one shoulder, she toured the cove,
panning every mountain spring,
turning every ant-protected rock,
peering down every dark cave.
But the day she turned twelve, she gave up,
and the pickax was left to gather mold alone.

Two years later,
falling asleep on a park bench,
she saw through half-shut eyes
the ground that people walked on
every day becoming gold.
Gold that was clear like melted
diamond. In sunlight, it glowed
ruby red like a dragon’s eye.

She blinked.
The gold disappeared.
A day later, a tree branch broke
from the weight of a single
leaf of papery gold.
Pat put it in her pocket
but it turned to cotton-dust
on the way home.

These days, Pat finds gold everywhere.
Today, she drove a golden car
through golden pine woods.
Cold words sank like lead
in air that was gold.
But the car dipped through a hollow
and the gold fled away, before
she could memorize its smell.

Kayla Eby is a young woman actively learning how to sift through the flak of life to find the truth waiting in front of her nose.

Photography by Kenneth Godoy

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