I crave you in the Fall more than
the warm bite of cider against my throat,
the crisp crunch of fallen leaves under my feet,
or the comfort of my broke-in blue jeans
straight out of the dryer.
There’s something about watching you
roll up the sleeves of your old flannel
shirt you’ve had since we were
kids in high school-
something about hearing you sing
to yourself while you make coffee
in the mornings before work-
and something about feeling you
wrap your torn jacket
around my shoulders when I slip
out onto the back step to
watch the sunset.
I ache for autumn because I ache
for the best it brings out in you:
the amber in your eyes,
the deepness of your voice from sleeping
with the window open all night,
the exhaustion in your shoulders
softening for an instant when I
climb into the combine
and kiss you on the neck.
Your tan doesn’t fade but holds the
golden tone I observe across
the bench seat when we go drive
and check calves on Sundays.
I long for the way you curl up against me
for just a few extra seconds in bed because
you love the smell
of fall scented lotion on my skin.
How you fill our garage with decoys
and the way you kiss me on my
forehead in the early hours before
leaving for a teal hunt.
I decorate the staircase in pumpkins
and the kitchen smells of cinnamon-
acorns bounce off the roof like
tiny bombs across the shingles.
You step out of the house in nothing
but your boxers and boots to start
your diesel before coming back
in to rub your cold nose
across my skin in the mornings.
The evenings out on the porch
get darker faster when we
watch for deer at the salt block.
You disappear in the living room
for hours to watch football, the
essential “yeah”s and “whatever you want
babe”s coming at appropriate times
when I ask you questions.
But you watch me closer –
you’ve always liked the outline of my body
in skinny jeans and boots.
The way my soft sweaters hang just right
off my shoulder.
You observe the happiness and the peacefulness
autumn brings me and you drink it in
as I drink you in.
Copyright © 2016 Pearl Bayou