Marion Deutsche Cohen

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When I was pre-seventh grade
and my parents always told me where to go next
and my teacher’s praise was the highest to aspire to
and my Aunt Faygie was like a grandma
(Grandma was also like a grandma)
and nothing was a matter of popular —
when I wasn’t even a little bit coming of age —
what season was it?

Quick answer: it was spring.
Oh, I well remember the extremes
the white season, building an almost-finished snow fort in the backyard
ice skates that never quite fit
and usually not really wanting to go outside, anyway
but warming feet in my mother’s oven followed by the reward of playing indoors

and the yellow season, going swimming in Watchung Lake as exciting as a birthday
buzzing fireflies and tiger lily fireworks
no school
Frances knocking on the side door at 9:00 PM, ready to go out and play
and my mother with her heart condition and no air-conditioning

and the brown season, leaves in gutters piled higher than they are now
falling into those leaves, just heavy enough, never hitting the concrete
crunching those dead leaves with my hands and feet
and my sister’s Back to School birthday party.

But mostly it was the green season.
Zinnias in my mother’s garden, the lawn mower for my father
kickball in the front yard, badminton in the back
the Sheridan Avenue gang sitting on the porch, sometimes with kittens
bird noises in the early morning like tears of happiness.

Yes, throughout my childhood the season was spring.
Spring was the average.
Spring was the default.
Everything else being equal, it was spring.

© Marion Deutsche Cohen 2015

Marion Deutsche Cohen’s latest poetry book is Lights I Have Loved (Red Dashboard Press, NJ), and her latest memoir is Still the End: Memoir of a Nursing Home Wife (Unlimited Publishing, IN), which is the sequel to her earlier memoir, Dirty Details: The Days and Nights of a Well Spouse (Temple University Press, PA). Her books total 24, including the forthcoming Closer to Dying (WordTech Editions) and Crossing the Equal Sign (Plain View Press, TX), about the experience of mathematics. She teaches math at Arcadia University in Glenside PA, where she has developed the course Truth and Beauty: Mathematics in Literature.

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2 Responses to Marion Deutsche Cohen

  1. MaryJo says:

    I enjoyed the way you used memory and color to depict the seasons. Thank you.

  2. William Lord says:

    I agree with MaryJo; I know that there are certain years of my life that are filtered by different colors in my memory, and, yeah, most of early childhood feels like one long happy season.

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