• Beatrice Iker

Poem #10: September, September

I have a saying that September begins when October ends, or maybe it’s October lives inside September.

I’ve always thought of September as a mother, a nurturer, and a soft cocoon. But September is also a transition. It’s the time when grueling becomes gravy and we lap it up, happy for the nourishment.

We take that nourishment and we feed ourselves, we cool ourselves, we live in October. Well, I live in October.

September lives in the in-between space. In a world of both baseball and football. A world of green and brown. A world of yesterday and tomorrow.

There’s that nostalgia. The cardigans are the right kind of oversized. The shorts are the right kind of snug. The air with the right temperature of hope.

September is the only month with summer at its back and Halloween at its breast. Maybe there’s something sacred in that combination. Maybe there’s something dangerous in that combination, because I think that’s a whole lotta power for one month, one mother to hold.

Who would any of us be if we were handed that much power? I like to think I would simply turn into a summer witch. I want to be someone with Thanksgiving as an aunt and Valentine’s Day as a distant cousin I’ve seen twice in my life, and both those times it was in a nightmare.

September. Crunchy leaves. September with humidity like an absentee father, or a shirt that never fit right.

Has there ever been a time when you stopped to smell the bark on the tree outside the supermarket? It’s weird. It’s crazy to stop with your cart full of nourishment and smell that which is not yours but that which surrounds you. It’s crazy to stop at something bought to look pretty against this building. But it’s still pretty. And it’s September.

Have you ever been September? Slipped inside his skin? Burrowed behind his eyes? Breathed from his lungs?

Well, I have.


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