Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • How Geraldine Becomes a Seamstress

    Like rain, like snow, like cats and dogs, the leaves fall.
    Geraldine runs out, stares, smiles and stares, as the leaves fall.

    Reds, oranges, yellows and browns, purples, golds, mustards
    and plums soar, drop, drift and settle, falling leaves.

    They flutter and wobble, they dance and tumble, catch
    the light and hold it, brightly, briefly, the falling leaves.

    Under the trees, thousands of leaves. Geraldine lifts handfuls,
    armfuls, tosses them high and tilts her face up to the falling leaves.

    They shine like church windows, fly like maple seeds, sing
    like hummingbird wings, rattle like bones, the falling leaves.

    She rakes up piles of leaves, stretches her arms out and falls backwards
    into leaves, laughing and laughing while above her, more leaves fall.

    She waves her arms, opens and closes her legs, pushes
    the leaves back and forth, makes leaf angels in the fallen leaves.

    On her belly she tunnels, buries herself, swims and rolls
    and comes up like an otter to a sky full of leaves, falling.

    When she sniffs them: they smell like dirt, like the forest, like autumn,
    like the grass and the flower gardens, buried now by fallen leaves.

    When she strokes them: they feel like paper, like leather, like velvet,
    like cloth, like sandpaper, like skin, like love, like fallen leaves.

    Fragments of fabric, bright-colored bows, birthday confetti,
    plucked petals of flowers, bits for collage—the fallen leaves.

    She studies the veins, the patches of color, the subtle changes,
    sorts them and matches them, no two alike, the fallen leaves.

    Leaves she traces, on cloth, paints and cuts. With her mother
    helping, stitches them to make a quilt. Sleeps under fallen leaves.

    In her dreams, leaves again. All night, Geraldine spins, twirls and pirouettes,
    laughs and murmurs, sings and tumbles in the fallen and falling leaves.

    Mary Stebbins Taitt
    Simplified Ghazal


    1)Geraldine is the protagonist in a huge undertaking of mine. She is a brain-damaged girl.
    2)Many of the poems in this cycle explain how Geraldine did something special or "extraordinary."
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.