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Autumn is

By Bethany Jarmul

The only season when it’s boujee for suburban folk to pretend to be country. We pay ten dollars to the pick-your-own-pumpkin people, select from pre-cut, perfectly plump pumpkins in neat rows among the lawnmower-trimmed grass, strategically scattered hay barrels. We call it “going on an adventure,” add fall leaves and jack-o-lantern emojis to our Instagram feeds. Our “pumpkin-spice lattes” are pumpkin-less. We decorate our porches with cornstalks and jobless scarecrows who have no tomato, cucumber, or pepper plants to protect. Wearing flannel, we sweat by store-bought fire pits. We pet the black cats but have no barns with hay for their beds. We have graveyards with cement crosses but only shopping bags snagged in trees, pretending to be ghosts.


Bethany Jarmul is a writer, editor, and poet. Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and been nominated for Best of the Net and Best Spiritual Literature. She earned first place in Women On Writing's Q2 2022 essay contest. Bethany enjoys chai lattes, nature walks, and memoirs. She lives near Pittsburgh with her family. Connect with her at or on Twitter.


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