early, in the blue morning,
with a dusting of wet snow
and bitter wind,
the crows make their way from their roost—
their cacophony of sound traveling on the falling,
thick flakes, from a height that renders them small black specks that i struggled to see, beyond the iciness that clung to my lashes
i want to remember the way the light was filtered by the reeds that day we walked along the brick-lined streets and the warmth of a well-loved dog, her smell and her kisses and her wagging tail and the sound of the crunching leaves under my old boots and the rain that fell on our heads as we knelt to watch the vole burrow deeply under a sodden log
she walked along the river’s edge with her two most loyal companions: her dog and her solitude
Everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery
Breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that
Can’t you read the sign?
from the song Sign written by Les Emmerson and performed by The Five Man Electrical Band, 1970
The ground’s a long way down but I need more
Is the nightmare really black
Or are the windows painted
Will they come again next week
Can my mind really take it
Lyrics from the song, Madman Across the Water by Elton John and Bernie Taupin from the album Madman Across the Water, 1971
thought number 1:
how many more days will the bee have to land on Dahlias this fall?
thought number 2:
how many more days will she have to watch the bees land on Dahlias in the fall?
This year we are having a particularly beautiful autumn. When I walk with Juliet, the red maple leaves blanket the roads and the grass and the paths we pass. Rain makes the streets slippery—we skate in a stop and start motion; soft red velvety leaves stick to my boots.
The nights are damp and dark with a fine mist rising, hovering at eye level. When I take Jules out at midnight, I note the crickets in the otherwise still silence of that hour. I wonder, have I ever noticed that crickets sound into the month of November? Have I ever inhaled the damp night deeply into my lungs before this year?
Then there are the mornings. The early twilight of dawn, drenched in thick fog welcomes me with open arms while my eyes are still tired with sleep. Has it been like this always? I don’t know. It feels, so much sharper this year. I feel the cold in my bones and my senses on high alert. I want to memorize each tree, each outline. The falling leaves form an impression on the road and I stare at the contour, tracing it with my eyes, touching it with my cold hand.
The moments are fleeting, quick and also slow, slick, thick with anticipation and the promise of the coming winter. A fluttering of huge wild wings escape into the fog and disappear behind dark branches; perhaps to return again during the day when it clears, or perhaps to become a memory floating softly like the red leaves onto the ground—one of many, lost under the impending first snows.
with sharpened edges, everything is kept at bay
“And so I’ve grown to love the syllables in the word maybe. Today my head is full of maybes. Maybe healing is not linear. Maybe there is no one health care savior but many patient practitioners. Maybe the long haul is longer than anticipated. Maybe, a nap is in order. Maybe writing down your story helps. “
from the book, Smile by Sarah Ruhl, 2021