Autumn

leaves

I dodge stinkbugs and ladybugs in my kitchen. The ones who seek refuge like feral cats under bridges in the rain. Last week the windows were open; summer breezes had the wrong map, got turned around and wound up in October, pushing the thermometer: 80. It was too hot to rake leaves. The rosemary started throwing out flowers and the geraniums budded. But then a funny thing happened: just as summer had gotten turned around, winter had too and 80 turned to 30 and the new tender growth had frozen along with the basil in the garden that was still going to seed. The last of the seltzer in my fridge was unwanted. Lemons in the crisper drawer –as odd seeming as a dinosaur fossil. “They are in good shape,” I thought. “They seem as though they ought to be quite moldy.” Summer felt far away now, even the lemons thought so, and the days of evening baths and cricket breezes carrying the scent of fresh cut grass in through the window, that time was gone. Now I brush up against the potted geranium in the hallway and the chrysanthemums wilting in the vase in the bathroom remind me of the time when I took the flowers for granted and didn’t pick any for weeks because they just kept coming and would continue, it always seemed. I can’t bring myself to get rid of them now, their stems mushy and moldy in the glass.

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