Sunday, 15 September 2013

Autumn


Autumn

I remember that September. The end of summer just as
surprising as always. Boots reappeared in the hallways,
and we adjusted in small ways, as we hurtled, headlong,
falling right into Fall. Grazed patches on knees, and new
uniforms. A cat on my lunch box, when I wanted unicorns.
Misty darkened dawns; fighting to keep warm. Gloved hands
across hearts, forlorn in the dark, waiting for dad's car to start.

I remember that September. Sitting in gardens in fading
light, wrapped up tight, determined to catch every last
drop of summer. Try as we might. Cold nights drawing
in; goose flesh on my skin and the scent, from the gas
hob, of sloes soaked in gin. Harvest hymns croaked
through sore throats, cereal usurped by porridge oats
and runny noses wiped on the sleeves of coats.

I remember that September. Potatoes cooked on bonfires.
Kite fliers. Climbing over barbed wire in search of wild
mushrooms. Hot air balloons drifting overhead. The
smell of freshly baked bread. And instead of short skirts and
sunny days, we got new patterned scarves, overcoats and
driving rain. Excavated pockets, uncharted since last year,
divulged clear boiled sweets, a fifty pence piece, and feathers.

I remember that September. Tangled brambles wrapping trees,
the turning of the leaves, and my sister, unwilling to believe
that spring would bring the life back next year. Warm breath
rising in the air, and spiders webs stretched across branches
that caught in my hair. Those bobble hats you always made us
wear. Fun fairs in car parks, and fireworks bursting through
the dark,leaving star marks of smoke in the sky and trailing sparks.

I remember that September. Sweet sticky blackberries
plucked from hedgerows. Crusts cut from burnt toast
and fed to the sparrows. Hot water bottles and lavender-
scented pillows. Toffee apples licked and shared, and
we didn't care one bit that each one was slick with our
communal spit. Unsheathing conkers, damp and natal
in my fists. I remember autumn. I remember this.

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