Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 11th Again--Written by a fellow blogger who lives in NYC

Autumn Again

The maple tree in front of my neighbor’s home
divides in two like Siamese Twins
bound at the hip.

Its leaves have turned early again,
crusted red like dried, crusted tomato sauce-
or is it blood– pinned to their stems,
nailed to the wood.

The summer air has ended and
the cool scent of autumn smacks you in the face.
Again. Enough to topple you over.

Neighbors go about their motions,
school has started,
baseball winds towards its Series,
talk of November elections cross the radio waves,
football has kicked off again,
all beneath a sky so blue it reminds you
of a little girl’s iris.

I enter my car, parked in front of my house,
ready to go to work.

A red leaf comes off the tree—
the first of the year, perhaps-
drifts down floats like a slip of paper while suddenly
two morning jays, blue and white tipped,
sweep across the street.
Their peevish caws proclaim the end of summer,
the end of little league and girls soccer,
reclaiming dog days for the approaching equinox.

Such demonstrates ballistic coefficients,
a floating leaf, a swooping bird.
I watch this liturgy as I hang from
turning the ignition.

There was a night I slept in the car
in some parking lot, chilled by the northern nip
unable to return home.
They barred the city shut.
I had a blanket in the trunk for such emergencies
and I took it out and threw it over me and
pitched the seat back almost to a bed and
listened to the fly buzz of radio static all night.
The sirens that had been blaring all day
finally stopped, and the crickets still alive
began their evening prayers,
unable to distinguish autumn air from crumbled dust
that floated and sooted all our homes,
all our clothes, all our lungs.

I turn the ignition, the motor crackles,
and I almost put the car in drive when another
leaf, this one still green but a frozen green,
like it had turned to stone, floats down and lays
beside the red one.

This is the kairotic moment,
when the curdled leaf falls with a plop to the ground,
the thump circling inside the cavity of my head.
I turn the ignition off and decide to walk around
the block.

I pass Mr. Sackman’s house.
His son lost his life a few years ago, and
loses it again at the end of every summer
rushing up a staircase to afflict a fire
started by a man no one around here ever heard of
and lived half a world away.

The leaves around the block
had also turned and the nails
that pinned them had been yanked or reaped,
obelisks in the mind giving way

leaves scorched red by zipping aero planes
which blasted into towers.

The leaves around me, dozens now,
are falling like three thousand bodies
coming down again


  1. Oh thank you Kelly. I'm honored. My pleasure in sharing it. I don't exactly live near ground zero. But Staten Island is part of New York City.

  2. Yes, that was poor wording. Fixed!