Last night at work I saw a friend leaving with her red tambourine under her arm and said, “The woman with the red tambourine. Thought for a second, and added, “That should be a song—there’s the title, you should write it.”
She seemed to think it was a good idea, and walked away talking about red tambourines and frost. Then, of course, the combination of red tambourines and frost would not leave me alone until I wrote this. I hope she writes one too. She writes fucking good songs.
The Red Tambourines of Deep October
She’s left the woods and meadows behind
and wanders the streets calling sweetly to you
until your bones ache through your skin,
gleams of sugar spun under the cold moon.
She’s built her tambourines of maple leaves
hung with yellow clatters of elm and linden
dipped in midnight ponds to temper
with the sound of distant stars hissing.
Have you seen her with her red tambourines
shaking frost into the deep October nights
when the trees are tired dancers waiting
for the winter to string them all with ice?