Portrait of the Artist

A pool of black water. Ripples of wind steal across it, occasionally gusting toward me in a regiment. Tattered ships of half sunk leaves drift past, some skating on top of the water, others slide past just beneath. The bright blue of the sky mixes with the dark blue-gray of storm clouds. The trees across the water form a synergistic patchwork; the iron gray and mottled white of bare branches, the pale gold of beech leaves, reds and yellows of oaks, the varying shades of green firs, pines, and rhododendrons. The forest bed is the brown of dead needles and decaying leaves. The wind gusts, throwing leaves and whirling seeds high into the air. Several come down on the pages of this notebook. The seeds make a dull tinkling against the dock. The wind pushes the leaves in the water to the bank and more fall to take their place.

The weather- grayed dock juts out into the black water. At its edge sits a woman in a gray leather jacket, several sizes too large for her; her father’s. The reflection of her scuffed black boots ripples in the water. The wind blows stronger and she pulls the old gray coat tighter about her shoulders and watches a leaf meet its own reflection as it falls in the water. She looks up at the world, then down at the little red notebook on her knee. The author slowly creates herself.

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