Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Fall inching" by Catherine A.G. Bayly

It is decidedly chilly, and the light is pouring over the trees, just so. Red, bright and smoke-heavy. I step out outside for a moment, and feel the cold solid weighty truth of my feet rooted on the deck boards. There is a fist of twine sleeping in the pit of my stomach, and it sneaks upward through my esophagus, triggering my crying and choking as the days grow longer and fall inches toward me. It is still summer, but there is autumn in the air - smelling of burnt leaves and screaming out, harvest. I shiver in the mornings now, with anticipation. I feel an almost-intrinsic pull toward apple orchards, pumpkin patches - the reaping places of the withering season. Places that smell of apple cores, and cinnamon-rolled expanses of past. Places that remind me that death goes on in perpetuity, and cry out of the pumpkins left sad to rot on our porch late into last season. Places that remind me of the still-new, gilded gravestone, lonely bearing the name and body of my daughter. Places that remind me of a knife-sharp piercing and yet somehow serrated sadness, and the soft crackle of leaves as they drop on the small grassy spots where babies sleep away forever, amidst apartment buildings and scarecrow images marching in and out of made-identical hay maze offices. As footsteps and mothers and children and fathers and birth and dying and war and crying whip by in their frenzied timeline, I stand here amidst them all, perfectly still. I daily take on this sadness. Let myself feel the red-gold dawn of the death of deciduous times. This emptiness unspeakable, as the earth turns its way toward a time when the burning leaves and last attempts at outdoor life will surely sneak their way into my room at dusk. Curl around my throat and choke me with the smoked odor of autumn roots and life's frigid certainties. My soft, wracked body is complete and dense in its sadness, as I shudder away from a leaf that gently whispers across my bare right shoulder on its descent to the purple, climbing earthfloor. I sob silently while my teeth are chattering, and there is the faint and imagined odor of pumpkin pie on the air as my shoulders heave in the privacy of early morning.

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