The Changing of the Color Guard
Flip-flops and tank tops,
falling apart from use,
are thrown out,
and piles of scarves and sweaters,
fuzzy soft and in need of a freshening,
are brought out.
Thick, flannel sheets are substituted for thin cotton,
and Grandma’s denim and lace quilt is shaken,
stirring the dust of time.
She reclines on the white deck chair,
soaking up the last of the summer sun,
her iced tea glass below the slats
sweating on the grass.
The crepe myrtles will fall from branches
like colorful, spring snowflakes,
as the town approaches the threshold of autumn.
Like a woman’s body,
the Earth goes through phases.
Fall is the time for exfoliating.
The changing leaves are the
last moment of clarity,
before everything dies,
or is covered with white—
a sort of lacy shroud—
shielding the bones and
the rotting flesh beneath.
She closes her eyes, sighs,
dreaming of dancing barefoot
to the bands on the beach,
of garden parties in the gazebo,
of a lightness of being
in the heavy humidity.
as if in a hypnotic state,
the froth of the ocean,
like the top of her daycap—
her daily coffee with the steamed milk on top.
She will be trading in her
hot, gingerbread latte for iced chai,
truffles for popsicles,
vine-ripened tomatoes for winter squash.
The house will be infused with the aromas
of nutmeg and sage,
rather than cilantro and dill.
Her smile is wistful,
for every day is a holiday in the summertime’
but Christmas and all its fancy trappings,
pierces the blues of winter,
and she turns over once more
to soak up the healthy yellow,
the wind at her back.
Fall is coming soon.