I ache in the places where I used to play*

SeptemberGraveWe pass the graveyard where headstones stamped like cookies lined up on a baking sheet tempt him to stop, look, and sniff, but then he tugs me on. We leave behind the air waiting for prayers, for visitors to smooth crisscrossing paths in the grass, the moss-covered crosses slippery as banana peels.

The sun is breathing yellow everywhere but it feels blue.

Along the way we pass four playgrounds, all but one empty, where my boy races through the sand kicking up joy and trapping it in his fur. This is the witching hour, a dent in the day just before supper, when children squall and mothers, weary from work, work, work, bring their toddlers outside to play, while the ragout stews in the slow cooker, filling the house with relief. Outside, the frying pan sky is burning leaves for dinner. SeptemberLeaves

We aren’t tired yet. My knee, which likes to remind me that it is as fragile as yesterday’s sunset, is silent. I toss a stick: “Go get it!”

Mothers and toddlers are laughing, as easy as rolling cookie dough, their long, black shadows flickering against the leaves in the short light.

SeptemberPlaygroundAt my feet the mutt gurgle-growls, grips the stick urging me to play, so we stay – throwing, chasing, throwing, chasing, throwing. Children whiz down the slides, leaves in streams. More laughing. My boy can’t find the stick, searches for it in the mottled grass. I call and we go home, past the graveyard and three empty playgrounds.

*The Tower of Song by Leonard Cohen

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25 thoughts on “I ache in the places where I used to play*

  1. Bruce Goodman October 18, 2015 / 2:55 pm

    This writing is like the ripples in you new gravatar! Soft – spaced – constant – lovely…

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    • Susanne October 18, 2015 / 5:28 pm

      You are a kind and generous person, Bruce. I’m working on metaphors and similes (is it obvious or what?) and I applied my efforts to describing a beautiful dinner time walk el poochy and I took last week.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jan Wilberg October 18, 2015 / 3:04 pm

    Ah. Lovely. Of course, I love cemeteries and playgrounds and dogs. But beyond that, your prose is gorgeous.

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    • Susanne October 18, 2015 / 5:30 pm

      Yes, I know how you love your dogs! I’ve been admiring your rich writing for a while, Jan, so it pleases me no end that you read and commented on this post.

      Like

  3. Cynthia Jobin October 18, 2015 / 3:38 pm

    ‘The sun is breathing yellow everywhere, but it feels blue.” Nice!

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    • Susanne October 18, 2015 / 5:25 pm

      Fall is such a wistful season and the colours so happy and cheerful but I always feel nostalgic and restless at this time of year.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Susanne October 18, 2015 / 5:23 pm

      I had to look up lyrical writing the other day because it’s something that has been mentioned a few times. What a lovely compliment. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Susanne October 21, 2015 / 6:20 pm

      Hi Michael, so glad you took a moment to read this post. I think you like fall, too, judging from all your gorgeous fall photos.

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  4. cheergerm October 19, 2015 / 1:58 am

    Your writing transports me to the moment Sue. Beautiful.

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    • Susanne October 19, 2015 / 4:59 pm

      If I’d sat a little longer with this bit of writing I’d have found a way to link the longing to be closer to playground days than graveyard days. Anyway, glad you were transported to our pretty walk.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Susanne October 19, 2015 / 5:04 pm

      I thank thee, Sir Derrick of the beautiful garden photography! These were taken with my phone hence the reason for keeping them small in scale as their quality is grainy. Still, they caught the golden hour.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. exiledprospero October 19, 2015 / 8:24 am

    A painterly stroll in the park, deftly described, evoking the colors and transiency of autumn, where children’s voices pierce the crisp air and mothers try, mostly in vain, to wind down and exorcise the stolid tension of the day. Beautifully written, Sue.

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    • Susanne October 19, 2015 / 5:01 pm

      As I just said to my friend the Cheergerm, I wish I’d found a way to link the longing to be closer to playground days than graveyard days.

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  6. Shelley Page October 19, 2015 / 12:02 pm

    So beautifully written Sue, vivid and evocative. Love it!

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    • Susanne October 19, 2015 / 5:02 pm

      I’m having a total blast with an on-line writing course, Shelley, which inspired the metaphors and similes in this post. Clearly, I’m not of the “Hemingway” school of writing!

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  7. Megan Ferrell October 20, 2015 / 4:41 pm

    Lovely. You captured beautifully a fleeting moment–that time of day in that most fleeting and lovely season. Love the way you play with imagery and language.

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    • Susanne October 21, 2015 / 6:15 pm

      I was deliberately playing with language, Megan, and it was fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. jbbluesman October 21, 2015 / 4:07 pm

    Fall is such a wistful season and the colours so happy and cheerful but I always feel nostalgic and restless at this time of year. Yes Susanne I couldn’t agree with you more as I recall getting to know a very special person this time of year and she still is. (;

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    • Susanne October 21, 2015 / 6:17 pm

      In years past I found fall made me restless but not so much this year. Oh yes, those lovely adolescent falls that were never the end and always the beginning. Maybe that’s why I used to get restless – the start of the school year in September when everything seems possible. That was a beautiful fall all those years ago, JB. Thanks for reminding me.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Luanne October 27, 2015 / 10:06 am

    I love “my boy.” Beautiful mood and images created. Putting your new blog on my blog list b/c I realized it’s not on there.

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    • Susanne October 27, 2015 / 5:26 pm

      Thanks, Luanne. I’m meandering all over the place these days with posts, mostly stretching my writing muscles. Blogging keeps me going.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Luanne October 28, 2015 / 4:22 pm

        That’s how we grow, I think!

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