by Matt Stefon

for Minori and for I-495, which always gets us home

If you lay your heart bare
earlier than the trees in mid-October,
you should prepare for cold.
They’re still wearing orange,
red, and yellow school sweatshirts
over their trunks for some
time after graduation,
and will do so till they’ve become
fully acclimated to the
chilly work mornings after summer goes.

You can see them queued up
along 495 before you hit Lawrence
bending in the orange sun,
shaking just a bit beneath their shirts
as if investigating the plausible existence
of tickets for the Fall Classic
because someone gave their word
somewhere on social media
and the promise it was true
was too good to resist.

You, however, are much like me,
despite standing on the other
side of agreement, all too ready
without reticence to drink in so early
the ice cold integrity of orange juice.
Or, rather, you are how
I used to be before
I got attuned to the working world
showing its whitening years
before the full reveal.

Steering the Civic
with one sweatshirted arm,
I reach the other your way
to turn the heater on,
acclimated far better
than you are to
another frosty morning of
negotiating traffic,
red and yellow giving
only orange consolation.


Category: Poetry, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing