For A Land Of Autumns
written by: Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi
The polyester brown leaf,
like your grandpa’s old pant suit,
crumbles next to the golden yellow one
that reminds you of ruin.
The grass still green, caked in mud, is
only but art deco for the toadstool village on the hill
the ones that make you think you’ve been invaded.
The wind has a bite, a chill,
no October nights like a warm dog’s breath this year,
only damp wind and rain,
droplets turning your toes wet
because you’ve yet to put your flip-flops away.
The glowing sun blinds your drive,
your aviators drench the headache,
the scarf holds in the oven-like car heat,
and your boots are ready
to tromp through orchards.
Knarled trunks and branches,
like ancient witches, wonderment
as the sheen door shimmers,
cackling in the breeze,
offering wishes, apples for a smile.
Your black cat stands guard, tail twitching,
watching birds out the back window,
(trembling to catch one salvaging seeds),
and acrobatic squirrels leaping between branches,
(low register growling at its gathering of acorns).
Cornstalks are tied to the lamp post,
pumpkins line the porch waiting to bring Jack home
to scare your demons and ghosts, your evil spirits,
The smell of mildew and mud,
and regret and renewal, mingled,
like silent screams to the midnight moon,
you pull your hoodie over your head to
suffocate the arm hair standing on end
goosebumps that’ve rose on your neck and back.
but all you can see is a lone light
flickering against the black,
and you wonder if Ichabod is riding
through the silence, the open expanse
looking for a story to tell….
Tilting back your head, disorientation,
yet grounded looking at the stars,
seeping in rich purple-blue expanse,
dreams or nightmares,
the eerie portal between
summer delight and hibernation,
creeping like spiders quickly across your mind.