September by Jan Bailey

And now the slow slide into autumn:
the thinning crickets, the monarchs
moving weightless among us like orange
angels, the tight-lipped rose hips;
the brown curl of aspen leaf, the bikes
tossed willy-nilly on the schoolhouse
lawn. Even the shadows slide, like blue
cloaks about the apple trees. Now
the mornings deepen; the meadow glints
of scraggle weed and thorn and a
russet splatter of barberry sweeps in
among the spruce. September, like
the hem of a dress moving easy
through the grass, and we running
alongside, tune our engines, whip-
whine our saws, rattle the storm
windows from the cellar, backhoe
our wells, wrap our buoys in their
day-glow dresses. We, running
alongside, bent on keeping pace,
our eyes focused on the road ahead,
our ears thrumming.

Jan Bailey

Reprinted from Paper Clothes, Emrys Press, 1995.