Ode to Late Fall

And when the sharp wind comes in

And the legumes brown and crisp in place

And the snow begins her visits, but doesn’t yet settle

And the morning frost reminds you death is always close

And the afternoon sun reminds you that your bones are worth warming

Then, we sing our hymns of praise.


While we peel, chop, cook, boil, wash, and clean the last of the harvest with those on the land with us,

While we build fire to warm each other’s workday legs and smiling mouths,

While we together fit the fields for winter wheats,

While we brew sunrise coffee as an offering to each other, a well-wish for the work each will bring the day,

Then, we remember that our very lives depend on the other.

As the hunt comes in as our sustenance for the long months of frozen ground,

As we work the muscle into meat and the hide into covering and the bones into stock,

As we remember our breath is visible in the mornings from our bed before the stove fire is re-awakened,

As we smell the ferment of the apples and the milk and the tea in our curing rooms,

Then, we recall that we are dust.  And to dust we shall return.

seth o'donovan