In The Heartland

By Catherine Jagoe | September 15, 2017


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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)

Catherine Jagoe

Catherine Jagoe is a translator and writer whose most recent poetry collections are Bloodroot and News from the North. Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in the 2016 Pushcart Prize XL anthology, “The Gettysburg Review,” “TriQuarterly,” “Fourth Genre,” “Memoir Magazine,” “Water~Stone Review” and other journals.
2018-02-10T23:10:03-06:00Tags: , |

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