The Orange Fades
This is one of my poems from the Poetry class I mentioned I'm taking at my college. Lemme know whatchall think of it.
The Orange Fades
I saw a carved pumpkin on a porch yesterday.
It made me think of an old Autumn-themed scrapbook from my childhood.
I pick it up, feel its orange-leather cover.
I open it and step into all the photos
I wish I’d taken.
An unpainted, wooden storefront towers over me,
barrels of gourds and miniature pumpkins out front.
Orange, red, yellow maples and oaks wreath the building.
Five plywood planks climb over wild grass to the front door.
Photograph taken by a heavy black camera, leather grips on the sides.
Reels of cider film inside, developed in a red darkroom somewhere in the city.
I struggle to remember more about the scene.
What was inside the store? Did I even go in?
No, I stayed in the car. Was that the rusty blue Aerostar?
An eyeless face with dry off-white fur and orange pimples.
Pumpkins everywhere in a field full of what
might be hay, might be straw.
Some with brown rough spots.
Others neon orange.
I turn around, my sneakers crunching the hay or straw.
All I see is pumpkins, like an ant in a vat of candy corn.
First taken with a panoramic camera, printed in vivid colors,
patterns of curvature of orange dots created by the panorama.
Second taken from a helicopter directly above me, looking down at the field,
the smiling road, the wild apple-orchard hair.
A barrel lodged in the middle of a wall,
made of rich, dark wood paneling clothed with shelves
full of cinnamon candy sticks, mugs, pumpkin carvers.
The smell of apple cider draws me to the barrel.
Paper cups catch cider from the tap, and
I don’t care that liquified worms might also be soaking my tongue.
Photograph taken with a disposable camera.
Smell of cider captured inside a sealed plastic tube
that I filled with for a week, and only open rarely.
After ten years, the smell is almost gone.
A row of characters I imagined with my carving knife and markers.
Obese green and yellow gourds with warts.
White and yellow speckled midgets with crowns.
Titans with jagged orange teeth.
One squat miniature pumpkin had a blue and white snowsled
origamied and markered from posterboard,
and a paper hat with an open top for his stem.
He had a name. What was it?
Photograph taken of the whole group that year, seven in all.
An eighth later preserved, a softball-sized pumpkin with white-out eyes,
hollowed and laminated, the clear plastic so thin I can still feel the texture.
But it didn’t fit in the scrapbook, so it became a windowsill decoration.
The dust blurs the texture and the sun washes out the orange.
But I stand in front of the house with that pumpkin,
carved by another’s hands. It’s not the same.
The scrapbook in my hands crumbles to dust.
The orange mist fades from sight, from existence.
I clench my fists, knowing that in ten more years
even what’s left of the memories may be gone.