Shriveled Reminders
by Gail Denham

The sidewalk was clear last night. But
this morning, when I leashed the dog
and we stepped outside, we found crinkly,
brown, shriveled objects all over.

The maple had begun to shed. I could
smell a hint of fall in the air, and I felt
the coming chill. We scuffed
through leaf-fallout.

Later, sipping my second cup of coffee,
I watched a light breeze rustle the maple.
We’d so enjoyed its beauty and the comfort
of leaf shade, all those hot days.

Now my thoughts flew back to huge piles
of yellow-brown foliage we’d raked up
on the side lawn of our house
on Damascus St. Our youngest and a friend
had burrowed in the stacks till only their
cute faces showed. What a picture.

Later, a grinning grandson, kicked
inch-deep leaf debris, while I took his
photo for a local magazine cover.

Ever, the memory of leaves burning in streets,
geese honking their way south, and the bright,
yellow bus growling up our steep road, ready
to haul kids off to school, plus the satisfying
crackle of crunchy walks under sturdy trees,
soon to stand bare, with boney limbs till spring.

I loved this memory journey.
It came when Autumn came.


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