all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein

all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein
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Saturday, November 03, 2007

hello, November
























This is a workhorse of a month,
juggling the brilliance of fall and the indelicate
ash-white arrival of winter.

November requires the unearthing
of scarves, dusty heating vents, slippers from the back of the closet,
the right blanket to accompany the streams of books
that will be read, almost with worship, in the fading light.

There will be moments the days will seem graceful
as rainbows, the sweet drift of leaves scattering streetside,
softening the blow of tires and traffic. And then, in a flash,
the cold will hustle in, and unstoppable drafts will insinuate
themselves into the living room, cleaving you from cozy rest,
from remembering what it was like to be truly warm.

November feels the strain, bears the weight of the year,
knows that a month lies before the whole thing wraps up for good,
and what do you want to do about that, November asks,
more like a dare than invitation, more like bite
than nibble, because this is it people, this is your chance
to finish what you started.

But what if November is where you start?
What if you are the one holding all this weather?
It is no porch swing, this month, no easy playground slide.
It is not the icy popsicle dribbling down your chin, or
the lick of heat from a Christmas fire, all those bright
stockings, the smell of some perennially baking casserole.
It is not the tulip bulb, the leeward breeze, the mirror of moon
on a murmuring ocean. It is not a slice of sweet cheery pie.

November is fleshy and earnest and true blue, precise as a coat button,
the heady incense of freshly sliced pear, the sound of a motorcycle
on a wet city road. It is a chest of drawers, antique, in the family for years,
mahogany, sturdy as the day you were born. November is crepe wool,
a dress hugging your waist, a pair of black leather boots skimming your knees.
November is whiskey on a dark night, a hand on your shoulder,
a whisper in your ear. November has both hands on the wheel,
a check in the mail, a table set for two, roses in a glass jar,
a tiny light illuminating every hallway of the house.

4 comments:

Sky said...

beautiful writing.

Marilyn said...

Oh, Maya, I love this! Beautiful.

GailNHB said...

Exquisite. I pulled a book off the shelf today to read some musings about November. So your words are perfectly timed and chosen - as always. Once again, it's a keeper - going right into my journal.

liz elayne said...

this is fantastic. thank you for sharing these words.