Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Shawl of Leafy Gold and Green

[image from visual photos.com]

The late afternoon sun
touches the leafy branches of  green
with a hint of autumn gold,
and I wrap the fading day around me
like the lightest wisp of chiffon
around the shoulders
of a slender young woman,
heading out for an evening
of walking with her young man.

Sitting on my porch swing,
the early evening
cloaks me
like a warm gray knitted shawl
tucked around an old bent smiling woman
sitting by the fire.

I watch the stars come out
in a sky I have never seen before,
because it is this night's sky,
striated with banks of fluffed pink clouds
and streaks of salmon sunset.

And I wonder
what was the defining moment
when evening changed
from being a time of going out
full of hope and romance and promise,
to staying in and enjoying the comforts of home
until an early bedtime.

I remember
as if it were last week
standing under a mimosa tree
loaded with blossoms,
one summer night
when I was seventeen,
a gallant young man picking one of the blooms,
handing it to me with a flourish, saying,
with the sweetest smile,
"Poor man's orchid."

One of the most beautiful
I ever received.

Who knew
from that moment to this
would pass by
in a nanosecond?

I can still smell the fragrance
of that tree's blossoms,
feel the magic of that
youthful summer night,
when life was new
and full of promise,
and every dream was
on its way,
I thought,
to coming true.

So much, back then,
that young girl never knew.


  1. Oh wow, Sherry. So true. When did evening change from being a time of going out???? I hear you. The years did pass all too quickly. It is a good thing that 'the young girl' lived in the present. She never / we never know what is ahead.

  2. The words of a wise woman... how did you get to be so wise?

  3. I love the bit about the "Poor man's orchid"...have never heard that one, and can imagine it was magical to hear at seventeen.

    I do hear you on it seeming only a nanosecond ago that we were that young...unbelievable how fast it's all gone.With any luck, the adventure will continue for some considerable time to com...:)

  4. Such a touching reflection...beautiful...it put me right there on your porch in the warm evening with those sentimental thoughts and rememberences...made me misty-eyed!


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