walking around Concord Center, early November, we
pace between the less expensive Chinese restaurant and
the most expensive coffee shop. they have brought
out their peppermint mocha because once Halloween
is over, Christmas is just beginning. holidays are lifeblood
in New England. they provide something to look forward
to when the weather becomes an unbearable inbetween.
we debate: where is the best Christmas? if you could be
anywhere, where would you be? New York at Christmas
time is unanimous: the lights, the colors, the pure white
snow that fades to dirt brown as speeding cars turn sharp
corners. but the rest of the year, we say California: why
stay here, suburban Massachusetts, with cold and leaves
and public transportation that stalls with the first frost?
my parents ask me why i’m not considering staying. i
say: i want an adventure. i want to experience something
completely new which in a way is absolutely true but in
another way is a lie as white as old New York snow. is
it not time for me to fly the nest? i don’t want to hibernate
any longer; let this winter be over soon. peppermint only
tastes good while the snow remains white on the streets.
this house grows tired, the paint in my room slowly fades.
i forget to flip the pages on my calendar until halfway
through the month. as time stills i remember that though
i know i’m ready to go, that doesn’t always mean i want
to leave. even Concord, the most beautiful in the fall,
knows that autumn has to end eventually. every era has
its eventual end and we know. we just swirl along with it.
Monmouth, ME, 11:47pm
i’m walking back from the staff lounge at 11:47 pm and
i look straight ahead of me down to the water and i see
the moon. i see the moon, bright white and i know it’s
just reflecting the sun from the other side of the planet
but i wonder if it truly doesn’t have its own light just
the same. just because it’s not a self-created light doesn’t
take the brightness away. sometimes the reflection can
be brighter. the path it creates across the water seems
solid. seems walkable, as if i could follow it to where
you are, as if it could lead me to the stars shining bright
above. i know we all see the same stars no matter where
we are because that’s just the way the planet spins and
that’s how all the constellations are the same. uniform,
with different names, star-sisters spinning in space. maybe
they have their own planets. maybe they have their own
residents searching across the lake for a little connection.
Lanie McLeod is a 18 year old poet from just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She has previously been published in Body Without Organs, as well as literary magazines at her schools. She runs Harmonically Sound, a blog about how music and culture interconnect. Her life goal is to someday be fluent in French.
–Art by Mick McClelland