On My Way

September Sun never quite rises,

Choosing to slink along the ridgeline,

Never overhead

Collar turned up against the coming darkness,

Bound for the back door and it’s own

Irish Goodbye. 

Glancing sideways at the forest on the way out

It cuts sharp shadows never seen in summer

That split the stream and 

Frighten the trout.

Near Waterford, Pa.

It was still summer-late August-

But during the night, fall had crept in

For a preview.

Breath hung in the dawn air a moment

Before floating off

And mist settled on everything,

Dripping from mailboxes and signs

A few degrees from glazing.

An old farmer had risen early

Excited by the chill.

Thinking October thoughts of

Hunting and pumpkins

He drove his battered mostly red pickup

Toward town.

Rounding a bend his left rear tire came loose

Dropping the hub in a banging, grinding, sparking,

Skid into the asphalt.

The tire kept going

Across two yards, through a birdbath

And flowerpatch, splitting a fat rhododendron

Finally coming to rest with a thud

against the home of a chain stretching, growling, teeth baring

German Shepard named Leo.

The old farmer leaned against a fender

Of his listing, clicking truck

And lit a cigarette under the red sky.

It was going to be a good day.

Late Figs

IMG_9198

Will the figs ever turn?

The tomatoes, a huge crop not slowed by rot or beetles,

Are gone. Sauce in the freezer and salsa in jars.

The peppers are expanding their palette,

Greens into yellows, reds into purples.

Basil is pesto, rosemary is drying and

Cardinals are noshing the sunflowers.

But will the figs turn?

They were late arriving from their winter’s sleep but

Now they’re here in numbers-small, green and hard

Needing another month of summer

That none of us get.

Even the plants in the bottom near the stream,

Whose thick resinous buds will get us through the winter

Are ready to dry and cure.

But somehow I failed the figs.

Twenty more warm nights where the stars swim in the humidity would do.

Maybe fourteen.

But not to be.

The stars are crisp in the fall evenings and the figs,

Born but not bred, will be left to freeze,

Blackening on the naked branches.

A reminder that resurrection needs luck-

As much as faith.

 

© – TDR 2019