THE LATE SUMMER
Green beans lose their adolescent
broaden in plump pods. One
fills a corner with its orange lamp.
At night skunks slink in to dig
in the morning we see their small
My friend's cancer has grown, spread
to her femur
and liver. Everything that
can be pruned has now been taken.
Tomatoes spark starry yellow blossoms,
hope against hope.
Some will turn into hard green marbles,
but the sun
has moved past equinox, days shorten
My son is learning his multiplication
he flips flash cards at the maple
Numbers multiply like random cells.
I am learning
the simpler but harder facts of
After first frost has done its damage,
I will rip out
the tangled vines, blackened marigolds,
until nothing remains of the once
I will turn over the soil, smell
dark earth rise
like a river, work in compost and
in the resurrection. Every
year I feel my tap root sink in
deeper. My friend is learning
how to let go,
to stop making plans.
Today she sits in the sun with a
cup of coffee,
black and rich, stirs in sugar and
There is no point in denying the
She spreads thick butter and honey
She would like time to stop now,
the sky, blue as radium,
the hills, bolts of calico, red
& yellow, gold & green.
© by Barbara Crooker