The fields are scraped and golden as we pass,
Hawthorn berries wave scarlet fingernails
And all around I see the death of grass,
Summer is guttering though green prevails,
But in the woods the bracken’s is brown,
Roadside seed-heads fuzz where once were flowers;
It was the sweetest summer season I have known,
Though every year I say this: it’s what endures.
The car window is open. The dog snuffs the air,
His nose drips with harvest, he quivers with lust,
His life in the present means he’s only there
Witnessing each thing from decay to dust.
But a shadow stalks each field and farm,
The ending from which a new year is born.

An edited version of a sonnet that appeared in ‘A Bench for Billie Holiday.’ Valley Press [2018]

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