Thirty Days Hath September This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   September means change. Like the cold fronts that rush to push away the humid August days, tearing off the month of August from my calendar reveals the month "September," and all its cold realities. Only the month of September could have a holiday called "Labor Day." At the very outset of September, my family starts packing up our summer house and boarding it up for the winter. Saying good-bye to our summer neighbors means saying good-bye to the fun of the beach. We try to stretch out our final week at Nantasket, but September calls, and we must answer.

September means school which means shopping for school clothes. A visit to the mall proves that most of my friends have the same idea. As I wander through the jungle of shelves, clothes hang like giant leaves on silver tropical trees. Jeans piled high in dull-blue mounds, with people picking through them, remind me of mountaineers trapped in an avalanche, digging their way to safety.

Everyone in the world wants sneakers at the same time, like ants running into an ant hill. I wait for a worn seat to sit on. Like a game of musical chairs, when one customer gets up, three try to sit down.

September helps fall push summer back into our memories. And somehow, the month becomes a magician, full of illusions. Early September trees shade us from hot sun. The leaves rustle softly, as if moved by nature's hand. As September waves its wand, giants soldiers wearing uniforms of red, orange, green, and gold, line my street.Their fingers grow stiff from the cold winds, and they drop their jackets down into the streets.

September seems to get colder, but its multi-colored soldiers tell me it's time to get warmer, more active, and ready for sports and the fun of fall and winter. For example, take apple-picking. Our family usually drives up to Stow and buys a large empty bag for five dollars. Then we invade the orchards like pirates looking for gold. Our plastic treasure chest stretches to accommodate more red and gold jewels. The gems on the highest branches always look the most tempting. I try to climb the tree and have my brother stand on my shoulders to reach for that perfect apple, way, way, way up there on that little branch. Unable to reach the apple, we shake the apple loose and try to catch it before it hits the ground with a thud. Nothing beats biting into a crisp, juicy-fresh apple, and being outdoors with the bees.

I hate bees. My dad tells me that he heard that bees are extra dangerous in September because after they eat fermented fruits, they become drunk, and can sting without warning. Look out! Dive bombers ahead. They are all around us, and on the ground fueling up. Don't panic! The car is only a half-mile away!

With each passing day, I watch the sturdy oak trees standing high around my home. They create a protective green archway all summer long. However, in September the peace treaty runs out. Under the disguise of friendship, these massive sentinels fill themselves with bombs that grow in size, and become sharply pointed. Autumn sun gives the signal, and the bombardment begins. Even the slightest puff of a breeze brings a heavier shower of bombs. The squirrels living in my yard depend on the acorns that fall like a rain of ammunition. They scurry to pick up their weapons to fight the winter attack of cold. September means you must walk quickly to avoid being bopped on the head by an acorn.

The richness of September brings the Jewish holiday season. Everyone knows about the importance of religious observances, and the sweet aromas and delicious flavors of the holiday foods. In my opinion, my mother makes the world's best chicken soup. I've tasted soup in restaurants, on ships, in planes, and in other countries. The best chicken soup cooks to perfection right here in my home. I simply cannot think of September without this wonderful soup. Naturally, my mother serves other foods, but I love the chicken soup. For me, soup makes the meal.

Now the time arrives to tear September from my calendar. What a beautiful month; for even though it looks dismal at the beginning, September gets better with each passing day. I take hold of September, and crumble the month into a tight, round ball. It sounds like the rustling of a million leaves blowing on a thousand trees. Tossing the sphere into the basket, the calendar page hits the metal bottom, and makes a muffled bang. September continues to make a big impression, even after the 30th day has seen its final hour. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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