Seasons of change…

***

Three Songs at the End of Summer
by Jane Kenyon

A second crop of hay lies cut
and turned. Five gleaming crows
search and peck between the rows.
They make a low, companionable squawk,
and like midwives and undertakers
possess a weird authority
.

Crickets leap from the stubble,
parting before me like the Red Sea.
The garden sprawls and spoils
.

Across the lake the campers have learned
to water ski. They have, or they haven’t.
Sounds of the instructor’s megaphone
suffuse the hazy air. “Relax! Relax!”

Cloud shadows rush over drying hay,
fences, dusty lane, and railroad ravine.
The first yellowing fronds of goldenrod
brighten the margins of the woods.

Schoolbooks, carpools, pleated skirts;
water, silver-still, and a vee of geese.

*

The cicada’s dry monotony breaks
over me. The days are bright
and free, bright and free.
Then why did I cry today
for an hour, with my whole
body, the way babies cry?

*

A white, indifferent morning sky,
and a crow, hectoring from its nest
high in the hemlock, a nest as big
as a laundry basket…
In my childhood
I stood under a dripping oak,
while autumnal fog eddied around my feet,
waiting for the school bus
with a dread that took my breath away.

The damp dirt road gave off
this same complex organic scent.
I had the new books—words, numbers,
and operations with numbers I did not
comprehend—and crayons, unspoiled
by use, in a blue canvas satchel
with red leather straps.

Spruce, inadequate, and alien
I stood at the side of the road.
It was the only life I had.

**

Jane Kenyon, “Three Songs at the End of Summer” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 2005 by The Estate of Jane Kenyon. 

Image

Fall has fell… page 102

Day 194 – 09/22/2020

Fall officially starts today, 2020 having caused us to sidestep spring and summer this trip around the sun. It’s beautiful – days in the 70s, low 80s, nights in the low 50s, and the leaves are responding accordingly. The tree across the street that burns from top down every year has burst into flame, and now the leaves in its center are turning. Eventually, they’ll all be down around the matching truck on the street and another autumn will enter the record books.

My fat spider in the window has retreated for the day, and I’m starting to think about mine, having eased into it with the best coffee in town, Kim’s. I have a date with Rita mid-morning to get back into her project with intent, so we’ll see where the day goes from there. Yesterday’s SI-joint injection is showing signs of having a good effect, which creates hope for accomplishing things, as people do when they get up in the morning.

Random thought because breakfast is supposed to happen about now: I’m tired of food – the thrill is gone. Reading has lost its luster, and now eating is just one more job to do. I wish comfort food wasn’t so thoroughly comforting – I could eat mac & cheese, potatoes, bacon, or Ramen noodles every day, or some of each, but the concept of protein versus carbs is a pain in the ass right now.

Which brings me to a new thought… do I hone in on the nitty-gritty of daily life under a COVID cloud in a bid to keep the heavier worries at bay? On first inspection it sounds like truth. Pretty sure I try to bury the real concerns under a shroud of silence and major on the minors instead. The things I can’t say to anybody, not even me, have to be choked back every day and squashed down into their hole with the lid slammed shut, so at least once a week I’m on the verge of jumping out of my skin and wreaking havoc in all directions.

Kim captured a similar interface from this morning’s sunrise – a liquid but fractured state, still on fire but starting the day with trepidation. Maybe Mr. Sol and I can pool our energies and make it to Wednesday…

Photo Credit: Kim Smith

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