The sun hurries now, eager to be gone. A chill
breeze scatters the last embers of fall, crisp
leaves layer the pasture, enticing as dry toast.
The north wind will take the rest tomorrow.
Naked branches haunt this farm and we
retreat to the barn. The horses have grown
dense coats against the season ahead and the
elders, already stiff, seek corners open to the
light but protected from cold gusting threats.
My own skin is a bit thinner, rosy bruises
on my forearms. I’ll harvest the last of the
season and sort the remains. Words that
failed me. Opportunities that dried on a
branch outside my reach. And worries, torn
loose to the wind, tossed for want of healing.
Warmth will come to this prairie again but
for now we hunker close, shallow-breathing
dry air and conserving energy for the storms that
will surely come. Our nature charges a stark price
to be paid for unfinished deeds, regretfully late.