Last night I finally did it: I opened up all of our boxes of books. They've been locked away for over a year and finally—FINALLY!—they're free again.
You may be wondering why I waited for a full week and a half considering I've been wailing about my books for months and months. I waited because, well, I've been busy and exhausted. Also we don't have bookshelves yet. I'm still holding out an unrealistic hope for built-in bookshelves that we can maybe save up for or something.
I know. Unrealistic. Leave me to my fantasies, please.
Last night I knew I just had to see them all. Touch them. Flip through them. I marched upstairs with scissors clutched in my hand and started tearing the boxes open. I had no idea where things were because Curt packed them this time around. It was like Christmas.
And it was like seeing old friends after a long time apart.
No, it was like seeing myself in a mirror for the first time in months and remembering features that I'd forgotten were there.
Maybe this is what will make my house feel truly like home: Our books.
And happily, I finally found the book of poems that my parents gave me for Christmas years ago, which has the poem I was trying to remember nearly a year ago, and talked about in this post. The book is called A Poem a Day, edited by Karen McCosker and Nicholas Albery and published by Steerforth Press.
The poem I was looking for is called Fall by Laure-Anne Bosselaar (that link is to her website, if you want to learn more about her).
So it's today, and in the chokecherry this year:
the first leaves turn ochre, there, by the gate.
I grab the sweater you left on a chair, wrap it
around my shoulders, and — as I did for days last year
until I couldn't keep up with the season — I pick
every single rusting leaf, each fading flower
and hide them in my apron pocket: their crush
clandestine against my belly. It's a simple gift
for you — for us — such an easy thing to do
for a few more days of summer.
Sometimes I'm surprised by the poems I fell in love with when I was only thirteen or so.
I hope this poem sends you into the weekend with a quiet sense of bittersweet beauty, which is what I love most about fall: that is will end, as everything must end. Winter always comes eventually. But for a little while, it is the most glorious, most achingly alive time of the year.