There are certain markers of the changing season. The first crocus in the spring; the first fall apple. Poet Catherine Jagoe tells us what says September to her.
It is homecoming season, Ironman season,
wasp and Concord grape season.
Seed-head season for turkeyfoot and little bluestem,
season of dying black-eyed Susans.
Katydids’ season to rasp like hooligans with wooden rattles.
Gourd and beet season, hip and haw,
hickory and walnut, muskmelon and mushroom.
Starlings’ season to mill in the burning bush,
swallows’ to witter on telephone wires.
Season of rot and wither and drop,
topple and windfall, riot and wishbones, drab and flame,
season of apples and honey, awe and atonement,
sun-wane and night-spill, last times.
It is squirreling season, no-see-‘um season,
season of grubs and peeling, canker and worm,
boarding up and closing down, silent summerhouses,
storm windows and choked gutters, screen storing, rakes and piles,
season of soups and cider, Nyquil, fleece and fingerless gloves.
Season of disguises, of dread, decay, decline,
ripe and relinquish, scour and rage, hog-fattening and whetting,
of falling silent, turning in, closing doors,
of knuckles, ebb and resignation.
It is red-osier dogwood fruiting season,
season of striped woolly bears on roads.
Aster and clotted snakeroot floweret season, silk
of milkweed glistening, split pods, muskrat prints
paddled from mire to boardwalk through the cattails,
corn maze and cranberries, school buses,
whistle blasts on fields and chants and teams drilling,
stadiums roaring like rising jets, like gales
on the grasslands’ deep-throated, inland sea.
From News from the North (Finishing Line Press, 2015)