28 October 2010

Lyman Estate

Inside the hothouse I can count the years by looking at the bricks, webbed white with old paint or veins of mold. The glass is fogged. Vast pipes run along the floor, leaking steam into the air. Patient orchids bud and bloom in the white light of almost-rain. Muscat grapes hang from the roof. Green lemons and oranges bulge at the tips of citrus branches. I should at least have had a pencil to write all of this down.

Because the light always changes I should have had a camera or paints. It hangs, low and diffuse above the orange maples that crown the lane outside the hothouse, lighting the yellow leaves from behind. Men are raising a tent behind the mansion.

I walk the crushed stone path with words rising under my breath. If I was alone I would be singing. If I was alone I would linger longer under the beech tree that stands beside the brick wall. Its trunk is too thick to reach around, the branches spread over my path and nearly touch the ground, leaves still glossy. I pause slightly, finger the scarred bark self-consciously and fish in my bag for a pen.

Slowly I wander back. Words are gathering in me like the leaves that overflow from the hothouse gutters. The car smells like bread, just baked. I go home to my notebook.

No comments: