Autumn is my Proust’s cup of tea, recollecting for me all those childhood afternoons I walked home from elementary school, scuffing through knee-piles of fallen leaves, as they crumbled and broke, releasing their rich humusy scent.
Each morning, my 12-year-old hoists her backpack and walks across the dewy lawn, leaping over the chain link and heading down the cemetery hill. Sometimes she looks back over her shoulder to see if I’m watching; sometimes she disappears into her day without a look back, unconsciously and imaginatively creating her own teacup of memories.
While the landscape shines postcard-pretty, behind our back porch the box elders shake loose their leaves, and up-close we’re beginning to see what was hidden under the summer’s greenery. My 12-year-old fantasizes about a zip line from the porch deep into the ravine. Her eyes sparkle as she imagines flying down that ravine, deep into the heart of a place not yet well-known.
this piercing cold—
in the bedroom, I have stepped
on my dead wife’s comb