Pale September, I Wore the Time Like a Dress that Year
in september i feel the long, dry summer in my skin and bones.
it feels like it should be fall now, kids are back in school, Apple Hill is open: orchards full of pink ladies and galas and golden apples, fat pears falling to the ground, hay rides and scarecrows.
but the days are still long and dusty and hot; the grass is dying; the hills are yellow; i pick wicked stickers out of my cats' fur incessantly.
am i complaining? i am a summer girl and i swore i would never complain about the heat, and i am not. and it never even got that hot anyway.
i am just ready to be refreshed.
thirsty for rain.
i remember this feeling from the first fall after i graduated high school. i was seventeen and taking a couple classes at the community college. i was driving around in my big old rusty station wagon with fake wood side paneling. up to apple hill and down to the river, climbing wooden fences, going out for ice cream sundaes with my friends, singing in graveyards, swinging at the park. drinking coors light at the end of a dirt road at a place they called the ruins.
i still go to the same places. i still drive down smith flat road past the abandoned house that is fenced off now.
i still stare at the old gravestones, the ages and names.
the ruins now, behind a chain link fence ...the big metal structure is gone, there's just a pile of rubble and some leftover twisty junk. and a dirty sleeping bag, weeds, thistles.
that day the sky was dark and a storm was brewing to the east over the mountains. late in the evening i walked to the school to meet my friends, watching lightning in the gloomy sky just over the hills. thunder shaking my bones. we were swinging as it started to sprinkle raindrops and we all jumped for joy. i felt a chill for the first time in long long months. but then the rain stopped, and it's summer days again.
and i keep haunting these oaken hills. i feel like a slip hung out on the line.
tumbleweeds. brown leaves. spiderwebs, these days.