Soundtrack for Fall & Forgetting ~ Michelle Menting


It’s raining and autumn. Outside

everything dark crushes color


with blows of wind and branches.

The perfect setting for a day


inside with wool & wine, and seclusion—

that desired kind.


I’ve learned the plucks of a banjo

can rhythm the scratch of tree limbs.


A light Béla Fleck—soft haphazardness,

the soundtrack for fall and forgetting.


Only a squirrel—the culprit of a rasping,

a sound closer to pines scraping


house shingles, painted wood siding—

grips the window screen, scuttles


to the pane, back and up, clings

to the mesh with vampire-like claws.


A voyeur wanting in

in the worst way.


I know the act of clinging

has no scent, no sound—it’s static,


but still this house reeks of dead fruit: pears

spotted and moldy, fuzzed to their stems.


Is it a law of nature that everything

empty must fill again?


All week, I packed and sealed,

stuffed suits into bags but folded


the towels I’d later unfold, wrap around

my clean arms and shoulders.


A temporary comfort, like wool & merlot

and that myth of solitude.