Autumn Lane …
In early morning I walk down the lane
As sun kisses golden leaves on the trees.
Crisp leaves under my feet still remain
In splendid colors and still shades of green.
I stop in front of the empty house
That once we called our home.
The yard is not like it used to be,
Before you decided to roam.
It is so hard for me to walk down Autumn Lane, the name we gave that old dirt road running by
the house. The house has been empty for so long now. I kept everything inside just as it was the
day you left.
I stayed there for several weeks, but the loneliness began to take over my daily thoughts and nightly
dreams. I carry the key on a chain around my neck, right next to the gold heart you gave me so
many years ago. I moved back to the city where I am still alone, but at least in a place that is only
me. Every Sunday I drive out here to slowly walk down the lane, like we used to do together.
I tried to go into the house every Sunday to check and make sure all is well. The dust covers on
furniture only remind me of what used to be. It became so hard for me to enter there. It was like
torture every time I unlocked the back door and stepped into the kitchen. Funny, but there are still
some cans of things in the pantry. The black beans we loved so well in our salads, scrambled eggs and
burritos, spices and herbs left abandoned, I took out the onions and carrots finally. They were getting
a little too ripe.
I just could not torment myself any longer by entering our loving memories. I have not been in the
house for over a month now. I sent you a letter, asking you to help me get the house emptied and
ready for the market. I have not heard back from you. It has been two weeks since I sent that letter.
I guess you do not have time for the house any more either.
Autumn Lane ~
I turned away from the house and continued on down Autumn Lane. I brought my camera to take
pictures of the little critters along the way. There! A cottontail peacefully nibbling on some grass.
And a squirrel scampering up a tree with something bulging his cheeks out, probably hazelnuts.
The wild flowers are beautiful this year. The honey bees are lazily buzzing around them.
I walked farther than usual today, clear down to the lake almost. I could not bear to go to the lake and see our old row boat tied to the dock, looking so forlorn and abandoned, just like me. I turned
back and stopped by the maple trees. There were so many beautiful leaves that I wanted to gather
them all to me. I knelt down and started to pick them up, to put in my basket and take back to the
city with me. But, when I knelt down, I simply collapsed in those pile of leaves. I finally let the
tears flow as I lay there for I don’t know how long. I am sure I left enough tears there for the leaves to
grow new trees.
Slowly getting back up on my feet, I was filled with a new determination to live, to organize things
and bring some closure to what used to be. I walked back to the house with new energy and when I
got there I saw your car in the driveway. I just stood there, not knowing what to do.
After a few minutes, you came out the front door and asked me if we could start anew.
~ ~ ~
© 2016 Phyllis Doyle Burns