Autumn. April & You

There are lines and phrases that you will recognize, i have been reading and playing music and I am so ready to borrow a beautiful line, somewhat like picking a flower from its garden and placing it in a vase by my window seat…..

When autumn leaves start to fall…

…there must be a mechanism in new englanders that is akin to what happens to the trees and the flowers.  When labor day passes, it is as if I lose my verdant color and begin to drop my foliage.  I turn from the many shades of vibrant greens to a variety of reds and yellows and eventually browns and rusts and burnt-siennas.

It take me several months to readjust to my new shades, but in time and with the unpacking of the wools and the sweaters and scarfs and eventually gloves of leather and mittens of icelandic yarn, I remember how to do the season of hibernation that we are aiming for.  I do not like it, especially at the start when the changes feel abrupt and more like a slap than a nudge toward what is to come.  But here and there a day will pop-up from the leaf covered earth and a joy sweeps over my heart and reminds me of my big old playful dog, that would lick my face for hours if I would let her.  It is embarrassing to be loved that much.

She too is gone.  And I miss her kisses like I will miss the kiss of sunlight on my browning body as it and I glisten wet from a morning swim or wet with a sun drenched afternoon laziness that is like no other, except maybe a book, and bread, and fruit under a tree out somewhere where no one can find me and out of the distance to be called.

Summer time and the living is easy fades into a dream, a nostalgic dream of summer loves when I was a teen and the summers had no end and life would go on into eternity.  I used to think the lilacs were always there–who knew it was but a brief season when lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed.

“So here I stand, hand on the telephone hearing a voice i’d known maybe a  light year ago–heading straight for a fall.”  Can you imagine what we would have missed had we both died then and there.  I heard that even Joan lost her celestial summer soprano to her autumn.

The light fades softly into early evenings and soon the air will be filled with smoke from a cherry tree fire and the ash will cover the bottom of the reliable, reginald, wood-burning box; and snow will cover it all with a blanket of kindness–except for what will fall in the drive way to my house on the hill.

And wrapped in a sweater of icelandic wool and memories, I will sit and write–because I can, and because it is a love of mine to write.  And I will grow a fondness for the long dark evenings by a glowing fires near the kitchen where root vegetables scent the house like perfume on a woman’s neck and excites my soul with the heat and the passion of a winter bed.

Claiming that I want for more, I endure and count my blessings–a true new englander am I–fickled by each season, mourning my yesterdays, blessed in my todays, and in anticipation of my tomorrows–

“I am not afraid of autumn & her sorrows for I will remember April & you, April and your smile…..”

3 thoughts on “Autumn. April & You

  1. I have been thinking about language – and the influence of language on both thinking and behavior. So, I read your poem having been primed to wonder – wonder how your words would influence me. I read the poem and then made it a point to listen to conversations about the change in the season. I heard bits of talk while I was walking my dogs at Seaside Park. I heard comments at the coffee shop in Marblehead. And I heard an entire conversation while behind an elderly couple in line at the grocery store – about the change in season. The language concerned windows to be shut, plants to be carried into the house, and garden hoses that needed to be coiled and stored in some garden shed. Useful language, all of it, but hardly reflective, longing, or celebratory. Your poetry brings me to a different place, it evokes images, smells, sounds, and sensations. It makes me think differently about the change in season, it catapults me out of my own dull head and forces me to sense the senses of a sentimental soul. Your language changes my world, for a moment at least. Thank you for the moment and the Sunday poem.

    Michael

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