Rendered Fat Content


"I'll notice what left us behind."

Late Summer has a broad belly but stands on Spindly legs. Spiders spin increasingly frantic and Spindly webs, seeking to secure more of the last of their weary prey and set their egg sacks away. Pumpkin fields feature more desiccated foliage than green. Foothills regain their usual buff beige as their velvet turns back into crunchy sandpaper again. The mid-days retain their brightness and their heat, but each day's celebration rolls up the sidewalks by seven and sleeps until almost seven the following morning. We still sleep with our windows wide open, but slip out from under covers to don a supplemental sweatshirt before dawn. Flannel moves a few spaces closer to the functioning end of the clothes closet, eyeing the lightweights ahead of them as if they were already gonners. I seriously consider wearing socks again, but stave off that siren's song for now. Their time will come too soon.

The produce stand started stocking squashes and pumpkins, elbowing aside full summer's contribution to the diet
. Green and yellow wax beans might be peaking. The second or third setting of Spring onions still stand as if Spring never left us. The sun still shadows fiercely, burning up her birthright, still searing familiar sights. A month from now will find full October sitting on our upturned faces, sunflowers fading into something not even elk will eat. I bustle around, more looking dedicated than feeling so. I know what comes next but focus upon what's already leaving, a trail of missed opportunities hassling every forward step. I'm not yet done with this summer, though she increasingly seems done with me.

My friend Junior insists that the trees seem tired and have earned a long winter's rest. I contest his assertion, for this summer seemed intermittent, hardly there before packing up to depart again. My trees felt harassed every inch of their way this year, with hail stripping their almost mature fruit before even the magpies could harvest it. My Mexican Hat Thimble flowers stand spindly, too, hats forced off and hammered into the ground below them by another in a string of stripping storms. I have not gotten around to cleaning up that ragged paint edge around the deck door. Time doesn't seem to progress properly anymore, surging more than swaggering along. I sense what's to become of me.

My legs seem spindly now, too, hardly strong enough to support my mass. The long shadows cast across the front yard seem to slip away sooner than they used to, the final foothills to my west greedily gobble up each waning day's sun. I feel genuinely powerless against the pull. It propels me forward more than my own motivations might. This late in the season, the neighbor kids still race their bikes and scooters up and down the road, well practiced in ducking and covering when another Ram pickup rumbles through. The lawn sounds like crumbling Shredded Wheat no matter how I might saturate it; not dead, but nodding off now. The once verdant grasses have set seed heads which hang on long, seasonally Spindly necks, stretching toward decidedly indifferent ground. I observe these changes from the discomfort of a Spindly mind, as if this might be my last transition. Tradition might insist upon celebrating feasts, honoring abundant harvests. I'll notice what left us behind.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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