Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Brief Season Explained



The poem I posted yesterday, A Brief Season, evokes textures, colors and sense of touch when I read it just as it did when I wrote it. It is about a relationship. It takes place in Florida - in old Florida, not the land of subdivisions and swimming pools.
As I was writing it, I followed a woman on a winter afternoon as she walked from her dark, silent, unpainted house down the cold wooden steps into a still cold yard. I heard the screen door creak and slam shut behind her as old screen doors do. There are a few tears in the screening and the handle is rusty and a bit sharp at the edges. . The woman's feet are bare, and she has not taken the time to put on a sweater or a coat. The skirt of her dress falls just at her knees and it makes a muffled cottony sound as she walks. Her husband is walking ahead of her, and she feels the need to follow him. Perhaps he told her to follow, perhaps he asked her to follow, perhaps not.


She lets herself lag further and further behind as they walk toward a path in the sandy yard. After hearing only their footfalls, his of boots on sand and hers the quiet pattering of bare feet, she becomes aware of the sharp piercing call of blue jays. She looks up through the leathery leaves of the live oak trees looking for sun and warmth, but the sun is not warm and she can not find it's shape through the graceful branches draped heavily with Spanish moss. She knows that Florida winters are brief, and realizes that her relationship is suffering a "winter" and that, with some effort,those winters can also be very brief. She begins to walk faster, to catch up with her husband. To find comfort from the warmth of him.


This is the first time I have explained this poem - even to myself and I am surprised at how much more I see beyond the words.
I wonder what you saw or felt when you read it? What story does it tell you?

7 comments:

willow said...

I saw the change of season from the cold of winter into the warm months. Very intriguing to know the inspiration for this poem! I'm glad you shared it, Cynthia.

LoolyLouise said...

Dear Sissy o' Mine, when I first read this poem years ago, and each time since, the "him", to me, is God. For too many years, I "followed" Him unwillingly, while traversing my cold and dark life. All grays and shadows. Knowing He was there, but feeling He was unattainable and I was undeserving. My bare feet were calloused, sore and cold, on their endless journey in pursuit of peace that eluded me. Then, at long last, the realization of the futility of life without Him sank into my thick head. I felt His warmth, saw His light, and quickened my step. My winter - so long and dismal - ended as I ran into His arms. How blessed was that day!
LoolyLouise

Janeen said...

I read.. A LOT! But I do for the shear enjoyment of it, the mental escape.... not because I want to write myself. That being said, I don't have the discernment for poems, although I enjoy them. Same thing for art in galleries.... I could enjoy looking at them for days but wouldn't see the same things a sculptor would see. So... since writing is not my gift, it is instead a pleasure for me to enjoy as a recipient, from talented people like yourself. Thanks again for sharing and have a great day!
Janeen

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

I want to sit down with her and talk to her about her life. She tells me that she left with him many years ago and went in rebellion. Her family tried to talk her out of it, but she wouldn't listen. She now has been with him so many years that she doesn't feel there's much left for her but to stay with him. The cold in Florida is welcome after so much heat. She really enjoys it deep down because it makes her feel more alive.

MuseSwings said...

Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts on this poem! Janeen, I'm with you - I usually read for the shear enjoyment and don't try to understand everything the author is trying to say, I enjoy just following the story.
Loo - I love your take on it! I've never felt comfortable with the "husband" part of the story - looking at it from your perspective makes much more sense and gives the story a reality that isn't there otherwise. Perhaps I've been missing the point of it all these years?
Wow Trish, you see why she is probably having problems coming to terms with the relationship, and yes I think she, like we, truly enjoy the winters here. It's nice to wear sweaters and jackets and get away from the heat.
Willow, yes, the change in seasons is sometimes so subtle that we have to look for it! Or after a long winter we have to find our own warmth. Thank you for sharing your perspectives!

Marie Reed said...

Ohhh your blog color changed! It's warm and toasty now!

MuseSwings said...

Hello Marie! The poem must have done it!