After Supper, Downstairs

This is the season of leaves-
lots of them.
They descend on us in hordes of yellow, orange and brown-
and we chase them into dizzying circles of thoughtless occupation.

This is the season of sweater excitement.
Pretending to like football so that my brother included me
and firewood steadily building in the back.
It is the time when old dogs die.

The last time I fitfully crunched leaves beneath my feet
is as distant an experience as the last time I fell asleep
to the clamor sounds of my mother
cleaning up after supper, downstairs.

I do not have these final memories,
I cannot tell you when they ended.
I wish somebody had awoken my little,
indomitable blonde body and said,

“Listen! These are the sounds of comfort:”

The crackle of leaves crushing from your heaves and jumps―
the clang of dishes as they are put away,
the cabinets opened and shut―
the dog shuffling around the kitchen floor,
your father turning a page of the paper.

The surge and flush of the faucet.

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