Wednesday, November 05, 2008


How Geraldine Becomes a Seamstress
(Almost resembling a Ghazal)

Geraldine stares, smiles and stares, as the leaves fall
like rain, like snow, like cats and dogs, the leaves fall.

Reds and oranges, yellows and browns, purples and golds,
mustards and plums, soaring, dropping and drifting, leaves fall.

They flutter and wobble, they dance and tumble, catch
the light and hold it brightly, briefly, the falling leaves.

Under the trees, thousands of leaves. Geraldine lifts handfuls,
armfuls, tosses them high and tilts her face up to the falling leaves.

They shine like church windows, fly like maple seeds, sing
like hummingbird wings, rattle like bones, the falling leaves.

She piles up leaves and falls backwards into them,
spreads her arms and laughs. Above her, the leaves fall.

On her belly she tunnels, buries herself, swims and rolls
and comes up like an otter to a sky full of leaves, falling.

She sniffs them: they smell like dirt, like the forest, like autumn,
like the grass and the flower gardens, buried now by fallen leaves.

She strokes them: they feel like paper, like leather, like velvet,
like cloth, like sandpaper, like skin, like love, like fallen leaves.

Fragments of fabric, bright-colored bows, birthday confetti,
plucked petals of flowers, bits for collage—the fallen leaves.

She studies the veins, the patches of color, the subtle changes,
sorts them and matches them, no two alike, the fallen leaves.

She traces leaves on cloth, cuts their shapes, paints. With her mother
helping, stitches them to make a quilt. Sleeps under fallen leaves.

In the morning, leaves again. Geraldine dances. She twirls and pirouettes,
sings, laughs and murmurs merry noises in the fallen and falling leaves.

Mary Stebbins Taitt
081105-2121-2d; 081105-0011-1st
I wrote this this morning at 11 minutes after 12. I've revised it 4 times since then. It's a modified (simplified) Ghazal ("Guzzle") form. Prolly still not done.

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