Jennifer L Granville

Through Composed - Poem by Jennifer L Granville


Autumn makes me moody, stimulating my senses with the smell of fallen leaves laying atop one another in orgiastic heaps of tawdry, flushed color and that lushness of scent released from the sticky dew adhering their limp, used forms together like spent lovers. But wind has always been my favorite element. Perhaps, even as a girl, I longed for a lover’s caress, like that of the wind’s across my cheek and through my hair. And like some sort of unknowing witch, I revered the elements and their realm in strange ways, for a child.

The day was many hued, the colors melding into a gray that was bright and exciting in its complexity rather than murky or depressing. It was the kind of day-color that enfolds you, like a woolen mantle, and perhaps that was it’s color, a new one for the Crayola box. The day was woolen-mantle-gray, and I was cloaked in the voluptuousness of it’s velvety soft folds. I stood transfixed as a flurry of leaves vied for my attention with fluttered dances, to find their place at my feet.
I was eleven and happy, and Queen of the Fall.

Magic finds you when you are still a child, turning the bulky purple parka, tied half-hazardly about your neck into a stately cape of regal hue, the rake in your chubby child-hands into a royal scepter, and the ever awkward girl into a poised, pleased liege, surveying her subjects with approving eyes and cheeks kissed pink by the cool lips of her sinuous suitor, the wind.

And as I stood there, surveying my chilly court, the world, indeed, seemed mine for the taking, as my lovely Wind lifted the dark blanket of my hair from off the ivory nape of my neck and whispered in my ear, words only a child burgeoning into the first stages of womanhood could discern. And perhaps at that one moment, the world was mine for the taking…silly of me to have not grasped it for perpetuity.

I do not recall what pulled me from the reverie of my realm, or what pushed me out of child and into too-soon-woman, but it happened not long after that day. Maybe it arrived with the revelation that my most beloved mother was not going to get better, that she was not simply arthritic but degeneratingly ill with a disease no child should know by name, let alone with the intimacy and longevity that are the dark gifts of such a cloying death.

Cancer becomes a new member of the family when it moves in. And as any family member does, it profoundly and irrevocably changed the structure of ours. It is the turning point of all my stories, beloved and shameful, that I shall have to set out, for some sake, someday.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, December 14, 2009

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