September's embers. A nonsense rhyme running over and over in a girl's head as she watches her feet in new blue leather Mary Janes taking step after step after step along a hot walk toward school in what has suddenly been declared the end of summer though the red wing blackbirds do not know this and only a vague lapsing in the draped sunshine along her shoulders hints that heat could end or blood begin.

September's embers never ending.

She supposed there could be a prairie where peat fires burned or scrub pine smolders in the chill days at the mouth of this month. Frost warnings in the mountains and high valleys. August was a month of Sunday nights. September's embers remember. By month's end Fall was distinctly possible and blood bloomed like cramped apples. In first hour the melancholy ghost of chalk skim where the board was wiped the previous night. The ceremony of a lavatory pass and whispers: I have my period, Mother Superior. The shoes came with their own bottle of blue polish smelling like winesap.

"So young..." she sighs. As if the seasons were whose fault?

Remember the embers. Straw snuffed, curl of silken smoke in the river of the air.