13 November 2012

Dappled Markers

That Sunday was one of those glorious November days,
leaves gold and gentle flame,
like the sun’s warmth against my skin. 
Rumors of the storm on the way still implausible, improbable,
and yet,
knowing that Indian summers never last in spite of their popularity among us,
the forecast made that Sunday more ephemeral than most.
And so, I pushed aside the weight of work’s dreaded week
and pulled on my gloves.  Outside,
in the mottled shade of the trees,
high clouds skittering far above,
I heard the whisper of my old English professor,
surely gone by now: 
Glory be to God for dappled things - for skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow
and into the garden I strode, the tasks in mind: 
shaking the delicate cosmos stalks to
release their black needle-like seeds, raking
the expired vines, and finally,
drawing a thick black blanket of mulch
up to the chin of this small plot of mine,
tucking it in, cozy and ready to sleep until spring.
With each seed that fell, each leaf that crackled, I thought again
on Pied Beauty and how these days of fall
are as intense in their loveliness as the blooms of spring. 
This dying, this swansong of color
a reminder of the beauty and serenity of surrender,
of these markers of the passage of time,
of our basic need for the rest and respite winter months provide,
a reminder of all that we’ve borrowed and will never repay.

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