Blue September

September has always had it in for me.

It lays for me.

When I was young,

The other girls came back to school more beautiful than the year before,

Wearing whatever was the newest style.


I disappeared down paths nobody knew,


Unable to explain myself to anybody,

Unable to explain myself to myself.

September is a bastard,

Neither summer nor yet autumn.

My last drink was in September,

And I want one every year.

The usual dull ache of loneliness

Grows teeth in September

And I can't bear it.

When I have found love,

It has nearly always been in October or November, in the crisp, good heart of fall;

Sometimes in the spring,

But never in high summer.

Never in September.

The ninth month would kill me if it could--

Nine the number of endings.

Nine the number I never want to see again.

My favorite aunt died in September.

9 / 29 / 85

The last time I took a drink.

I go down by the graveyard

The way I did the day they laid her there,

When I was still young,

When I still couldn't shake the gorilla on my back.

I go down there, and I think,

If a devil came out of the ground at my feet,

And I knew she would hurt my heart bad, but make me feel better today,

Would I fall into her arms,

Kiss her on the mouth,

Let her take me down in the dry grass?

Damn right I would.

In a heartbeat I would.

But then,

A crow flies above my head,

The breeze stirs,

And I hear my aunt's big laugh--

The one I loved.

I feel her protection

From September

From emptiness

From my own despair

And I think, devils be damned,

I'll make it through to another October somehow,

Just the way I always have

For twenty-five years and counting.



Anonymous said…
Shay, this is fierce. It grips my heart and won't let go for anything.
Ileana said…
I'll never look at September the same way again. Powerful, Chica...and brilliant, as always.
faye said…
Somber and sad but hopeful.
Such a powerful and heartfelt poem. I am glad I discovered your blog.
Tabitha Bird said…
Oh Shay, sorry September isn't nicer to you. Funnily enough July and August are the months I hate. They are cold and windy here. Full of the deadness of a winter that won't leave. Sept has always been very good to me. I got married in Sept. I have been married to him for 12 years at the end of the month. And Sept is the month I told him we were expecting our first born, some seven odd years ago. But Winter, I hate winter. bring on Spring. I can hardly wait for our hot summer to be upon us :)
Cloudia said…
Fierce! You are a seriously great poet!!!!!!!!
You are SO much better than me.
I NEVER say that (I'm so ego-y)
but whoooweee, I am your fan forever.

Excellent. Deserving of a mass success. You da kine!

Warmest Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral
Riot Kitty said…
This is probably one of my favorites. My last drink was in September as well.
TALON said…
I'm glad your Aunt is there protecting you from September.

It does seem to be a month of endings somehow...though some might think it's full of beginnings.

There's such honesty in this poem that it cuts me.

I love October the best of all the months in the year. I hate March - it's too emotional for me.
Amanda Moore said…
This broke my heart. And the first part is the story of my younger years so it broke my heart twice! Wonderful writing to stir emotions like that!
Kay said…
oh, baby, don't be blue... for it is the ninth month that brought me to you
Unknown said…
enjoyed reading this post.
you should move to the Southern hemisphere... but then September will loose its meaning. Some may say that would be a good thing.... but I quote the words of one of my fav songs
"that's what valleys are for
It's from here that we measure - just how far we must go "
have a great day
Bubba said…
Lots of honesty in this one, and it's reflected by the power if its emotional impact - very strong!

(If you'd been making it up, it would have fallen flat on the page)

You should take pride in your strength and bravery; being able to to pour your heart out in ernest ain't easy, especially publically.

Well done!
Jannie Funster said…
25 years, congrats.

I loved the line about the crisp good heart of fall.

Another stunner from my favorite poet!!

Brian Miller said…
you made it through 25...and you will keep going...sorry it is usch a blue month for you...but glad you have those to watch out for you...tight write shay.
Lynn said…
I'm sorry this is a somber and sad month for you - and then September 11 made it worse, right? I like Talon's comment that your aunt is protecting you. I think that is so, too.
ellen abbott said…
I was on that path too.

Hang in there kiddo. It's only temporary.
Daryl said…
The Aunt, who passed a year ago February, hated despised, abhorred November .. she was my favorite relative ever and I miss her like crazy and in her honor I too spit on November .. and because I like you so much I am going to spit on September but after ToonMan's birthday .. ok?
mac said…
My last drink was in January 1992. I am usually somewhat happy when that date rolls around :-)

This is a very good poem, Shay. I am moved :-)
PattiKen said…
25 years shout out what a strong person you are. I'm sorry September is so tough, but you are tougher. Your aunt has clearly moved on to her new job as your guardian angel, and she's doing a terrific job at it.
Sara said…
It's the people who help us get through the difficult times that stay in our hearts forever:~)

I loved the line..."And I hear my aunt's big laugh -- the one I loved..." I knew, at that point you'd make it to October.

May this September bring you "ordinary miracles."
Dul├že ♥ said…
But Shay...!
You are right
I must admit this month is like Wednesdays... in the middle of the week...
I hate it for other reasons...especially 'cause it's my birthday, but that only reminds me I have another year to celebrate > being alive... as I am right now, as you are right you write this ( and all the rest)... right NOW...
... even though it's September.
This hit the spot today.ty.xo
signed...bkm said…
Great read Fireblossom, my husband had his last drink in April, one brother too, another in June...which each have our in the graveyards of our face, stare at them...October...yes October..will come...bkm
Cheryl said…
I love the way you drew on the simplest of miracles to lift yourself back up and away. Devils be damned! Keep on keepin' on ODAT. I hope to see you on the 29th celebrating your 25th in style.
fireblossom, you describe the thinking of an addict so perfectly. I love this so much i have printed it out and put it on my mirror (hope you dont mind). Your twenty-five years inspires me that i can make it one more day. and oh how honestly u put it--because if we hold on long enough, there will always come a crow overhead...

Thanks for sharing the message ;)
Lots of Love,

p.s. when i read poems like this i want to make a book featuring a collection poems of written by addicts...then i usually get overwhelmed and self centered again, believing it's too hard i sit down and have some ben and jerry's
Mojo said…
For me it's October, but I know exactly what you mean.

This year'll make the 11th, all I gotta do is get there.

And keep coming back.

Love you girl.

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