In The Garden On The Last Night Of Summer

Friday, September 24, 2010

In The Garden On The Last Night Of Summer

A stubborn hot sun is grudgingly giving the day back to the moon. 
It is rising now behind me, full and smiling over my shoulder as I kneel in the black dirt of my new garden.
  Luscious black dirt, on my knees and under my nails, a trace on my forehead, a spot on my cheek. 
Seedlings of cabbages, purple and green - the pious spinach, the happy lettuce - all sit at my feet like a private audience, waiting to hear the story of their lives.  
I tuck tiny seeds into beds of ebony.  So small - mere notions of what they might yet become on the morning they choose to awaken. 
Rustlings are heard in the forest behind me - green eyes, and yellow, observing my work.
A stone statue of Mary watches over us all, her arms outstretched, moss-covered and sincere. 
Kneeling in this spot of tangible promises on this very last night of Summer, I take a deep breath of sweet-scented air, relishing the quiet, hopeful, waiting to see what will happen next. 
Welcoming Autumn back into my life.


Fall Song 
by Mary Oliver

Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,

the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back

from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries - roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This

I try to remember when time's measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay - how everything lives, shifting

from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.

Painting above:  Kitchen Garden in Autumn, 1947
  by Stephen Harris