The sky is never so blue as we remember it, and will never again be so perfect as it was that day, the color of cornflower swells rippling tall grass and of friendships meant to last forever. The children of summer, we were, surfing high on wildflower waves, friends eternal at a glance, our lives from that day on entwined. A kaleidoscope of tears blurs the world into a thousand little pinpricks of color, and for a moment I can see the fields again. Sweet Williams for my Sweet William, she laughed, and tucked a pink and purple blossom by my ear.

Years later she walked the fence rails in a blue and white dress, arms outstretched with foxgloves in her hands, bike and book bag long forgotten on the worn dirt path. We're too old for kids' games, I chided, but she did a pirouette off the railing and landed among the flowers, a wreath of autumn blossoms in her honey curls. She smiled at me, Alice among the talking roses, Dorothy in her bed of poppies as the changing leaves sifted down.

But there are no petals now to cradle her head, and cold, dead wood is her only pillow. We leave her no flowers but lilies, as white as the long dress they've laid her out in, as pale as the mountain snow we flung at each other on midwinter morns.

But I will remember her always as my child-queen of springtime, racing through Wonderland as the cherry blossoms bloomed, a smile on her face as she pulled me by the hand, and wildflowers in her hair.