Only Kids In Autumn

May 21, 2008
By Becky Mueller, Attleboro, MA

The first thing I’ve seen, I cannot recall
I was born into a world, so strange
And I do not remember what I thought of it
When I first saw my mother’s smile
Or my father’s back
Or the shapes, shifting into familiarity.

But I do remember the November chill
And the leaves in piles, and your legs sticking out
And the scratches on our knees from
Jumping off the swings when Mom wasn’t watching.
I remember the smell of morning frost
And watching the moon rise from Handy Street
Orange and glowing,
With you by my side.

I don’t recall the years passing by,
But it must’ve happened somewhere down the line
Because we started holding hands at times
When we weren’t crossing the street
Or trying to cling onto each other in a large crowd.
(I guess in a way, we’re still holding on
To each other, with everyone crammed in between.)

Most nights it was just you and I,
One roof, two blankets, three zillion stars
The night falling with the leaves,
The smell of the eternal pine,
Adults driving in cars below, having places to go–
Older than us, wiser than us
Driving forever, to the ends of the earth and back
For something we already had
Locked away for years, for fear we’d lose it
Something so precious, so delicate
Only us and three months would understand,
Only kids in autumn.

Now my hair’s growing long, out of my pigtails.
My heart; it’s expanding with every person I meet.
Looking back, I still can’t recall at all
What went wrong, or where you’d gone
Or why you left. It’s so repressed
Like the first time I opened my eyes
And saw colors, or blinding light.

Eighteen years and here, I’m writing
Of beauty through love, and love through loss.
(Autumn rushes, straight to my bones)
I’ve learned my hometown, I’m still seeking my home.
I’ve learned my face, I’m still seeking my place.

I learn to live and live to forget,
And I may not have found myself yet,
But thank God I have found you.

Thank God, I have found you.

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