Wednesday, May 23, 2012
It would be a scorcher, no doubt, even in September
when we were rewriting our days with newly sharpened
number 2s still tagged with pinkest clean erasers
and we knew it was nearly officially autumn.
No matter that the morning broke wet and chilly,
heavy as a woolen blanket left on the clothesline overnight,
by noon the heat would build, would stifle.
Standing where the school bus stopped
shivering in shirt sleeves, waiting
beside the wisteria then past her purple prime, dripping
green and dewy, uncomfortable in my own shoes
still stiff and shiny, I tried to summon confidence
before the bus arrived.
Looking back toward home, there was the ache to re-enter
my safe, familiar room. Outside my window
the mimosa bristled pink, its leaves collapsed, closed
like praying hands. Each warm night I fell asleep with
the scent of it soft and powdery, clinging to my dreams.
Overhead a mockingbird, thief, imposter,
layered one borrowed song over another.
At first the notes were liquid, fluid, like my mother moving
me into the day, plaintive for the lost night and dreams.
Soon the unctuous bird seemed sharp and shrill, still
carrying on, nagging like a conscience. The longer he continued
the more I was convinced we both were liars,
wanting desperately to fit in somewhere.