“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


if you type it, they will come: a small november fairy tale

i almost want to let the leaves lie, the ones that have blown in through the open door on november breezes, the ones that erase the line between inside and out.  the stories of my childhood seem to live in those erased lines, all my favorite characters neither here nor there.  i lived in the pages of books, in balloons and boxcars and thatched roof houses, my imaginary gardens a mess of flowers and food, my snowfalls lit by moonlight and stars, my yard just a part of the forest, leaves and cats and birds on wing calling my home theirs.  i never questioned where the teacups came from.


real life sunday, and it is warm - barefoot warm, in the 80s, bright sunshine, no sleeves.  the heater is off, windows and doors open, the real life cat in and out and in again, asleep on the couch. hallmark christmas movies come and go on the television and piles of laundry await their turns to come clean. across the street, byron was up early, raking his leaves, no noisy blower disturbing the day.  here, in the house where i live, we have swept the sidewalks clean, and stairs and porches, but everywhere else belongs to the leaves.  there is no sense in trying to control them, to box them in - the yard is too big and we are anyhow cleaning inside.  we talk of moving my mother's picnic table to the yard for thanksgiving, a white tablecloth tossed across it, or maybe christmas day.  on a day like today, it seems quite perfect and possible.

as i type those words, a sparrow flies into the house and awakens the cat.
i am in love with this day.



accompanied by leaves

it's already too cold and there's no baseball and it gets dark too early.
it takes forever to stop sneezing in the mornings
and the heater is old and gets too hot or not at all.

i stumble into today and say scissors when i mean sunglasses,
except i really don't mean sunglasses,
i mean glasses to see with,
to peel potatoes and break blue eggs for breakfast with.

it is one of those mornings when i thought i had an onion but i didn't.

warm air slips out of the house,
escaping through cracks in the windows
and my cold toes take it personally.


tuesday looks gray and i can see reflections of the fairy lights in the windows and across the glass of photographs hanging on the wall in just the right places.  when i move around, the lights follow me in all the mirrors.  the temperature and leaves are falling in perfect rhythm with each other, and the cat is asleep atop boxes filled with art supplies, her new favorite once-again spot.  the tv is on with no sound. across the street, the ginkgo tree has gone that suddenly gold that tells me it's november at last.

another small morning.
no birdsong, no squirrels.
just moments of wind and leaves.
and suddenly warmer toes.