Sunday, 7 October 2012

My Autumn's Done Come

(My Autumn's Done Come - Lee Hazlewood)

The wind changed overnight, and with it the season. When we went to sleep, we threw covers off and kicked restlessly against the heavy, humid air. When we woke, we pulled the covers up,  and smelled wood smoke and dead leaves.

Autumn arrived overnight, but it came on quick. The mornings were cool and fresh, and the nights were cold and clear. Each day the leaves seemed to be yellower than the day before, and when barely  a week was out they were falling. Children kicked through piles of them at first, but soon tired of it, tired of everything. They slumped around in the house on sofas, slept in, complained, but we didn’t see what this meant.

We noticed it in the houses first, then in each other, and only then in ourselves.

Slates weakened and slid from roofs, paint began to flake and peel, wood softened, crumbled, shifted. We did repairs and shored things up, but it was hard when arms tired, and legs ached, and we gave up and went inside to shoo the children upstairs so we could like on the sofas and go to sleep. They stumbled up the stairs, pale ghosts.

We saw it in others first: a neighbour who lost his hair and then wore a hat to hide it, a loved one who turned grey, the bend in people’s back’s, the thinness of their limbs. Mirrors were avoided for a while, but there were always the  chance of an accidental glance, and then we saw a ghost, the aged face of a mother or a father long dead, and then we blinked in surprise and the ghost blinked back.

Now we don’t see many of each other any more, and we don’t see much of ourselves either, because there isn’t much left to see.

And winter is coming.

(Bonus version: My Autumn's Done Come - The Tindersticks)

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