November on the Brain

The first startling snow melts. 
The evidence of an odd year 
disappears into wet puddles 
and sodden soil, cold and drear.

So too do my hopes of forming 
warm indoor parties of friends, 
family, neighbors and classmates, 
driven distant by disease trends. 

To defeat covid, my daily mask 
forces every day into Halloween. 
The holiday itself is anticlimactic.  
I enter November in between, 

in between fall and winter, 
in between despair and hope, 
in between movement and stasis. 
Every day, walking a tightrope, 

while a divisive election enrages, 
gun purchases surge, militias train, 
and social media gives voice to trolls. 
I have November on the brain. 

Copyright 2020 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: The first Halloween where one of our tasks was to clear away 5 inches of snow. Then we arranged an outdoor party in icy weather, with heaters ticking, chili bubbling in the slow cooker, and mulled cider scenting the cold air. A few brave trick-or-treaters went past, but otherwise, it was the darkest and coldest Halloween of recent memory. I couldn’t get warm afterwards, for hours. 

“November’s sky is chill and drear,
November’s leaf is red and sear.”
–   Sir Walter Scott

29 thoughts on “November on the Brain

  1. Pingback: Gioielli Rubati 118: Brenda Davis Harsham – Lucia Lascialfari – Andrea Magno – Sara Capoccioni – Rosario “sarino” Bocchino – Carmine Mangone – Luciano Orlandini – Ettore Massarese. | almerighi
  2. Novembre nel cervello

    La prima neve sorpresa si scioglie.
    L’evidenza di un anno strano
    scompare in pozzanghere umide
    e terreno fradicio, freddo e tetro.

    Così anche le mie speranze di organizzare
    calde feste al chiuso di amici,
    familiari, vicini e compagni di classe,
    allontanati dai rischi di contagio.

    Per sconfiggere covid, la mia maschera quotidiana
    costringe ogni giorno ad Halloween.
    La vacanza in sé è deludente.
    Entro metà novembre,

    tra l’autunno e l’inverno,
    tra disperazione e speranza,
    tra movimento e stasi.
    Ogni giorno, camminando sul filo del rasoio,

    mentre un’elezione divisiva infuria, gli
    acquisti di armi aumentano, le milizie si addestrano
    e i social media danno voce ai troll.
    Ho novembre nel cervello.

    Copyright 2020 Brenda Davis Harsham

    Ho tradotto in italiano questa tua bellissima poesia e, se sei d’accordo la inserirò nella rubrica Gioielli Rubati del prossimo 15 novembre, grazie e saluti dall’Italia

    Liked by 2 people

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