and the garden diminishes: cucumber leaves rumpled
and rusty, zucchini felled by borers, tomatoes sparse
on the vines. But out in the perennial beds, there’s one last
blast of color: ignitions of goldenrod, flamboyant
asters, spiraling mums, all those flashy spikes waving
in the wind, conducting summer’s final notes.
The ornamental grasses have gone to seed, haloed
in the last light. Nights grow chilly, but the days
are still warm; I wear the sun like a shawl on my neck
and arms. Hundreds of blackbirds ribbon in, settle
in the trees, so many black leaves, then, just as suddenly,
they’re gone. This is autumn’s great Departure Gate,
and everyone, boarding passes in hand, waits
patiently in a long, long line.
No doubt about the season, just as Crooker describes. I picked the last tomatoes yesterday after the frost warning and contemplated cucumbers just to see their rumpled and rusty leaves, such a gorgeous phrase.
My heart springs open to see the fall flowers, especially zinnias with their extravagant colours, all those flashy spikes waving / in the wind, conducting summer’s final notes. The magnificent music of summer’s bounty and the tall grasses haloed in the last light, a sight that always makes me pause in wonder.
Can’t you just feel the sun’s warmth reading her words I wear the sun like a shawl on my neck / and arms. And the black leaves of the blackbirds gathering in trees before leaving us wingless creatures to face the colder weather.
It is the final line that captures the essence of this time of year for me: This is autumn’s great Departure Gate. Patiently waiting in line with our boarding passes – does anyone know where we are going? Regardless, the important thing is to take in this glorious, colour-filled season while we have it, so enjoy!