The Day before the Equinox
Despite the threat of rain on the last day of summer
I take an evening walk down Laurel Fork Road
noticing the seasonal changes.
along the edge of the hayfield
where the staghorn sumac and dogwoods have turned red.
The green leaves of the maples and oaks in the forest beyond
have already lost their luster,
while golden rods brighten the ditch banks
next to Queen Anne, who has rolled her lace into a ball
ready to stow in the drawer for winter.
At the cemetery by the Primitive Baptist Church
an eight-point buck stops in the middle of the road,
looking at me for the longest time
as if wondering what I am doing out in this mess
before jumping off the road and over the gravestones.
The drizzle becomes a rain shortly after passing the church,
but as I leave the payment for gravel,
the hayfields for the dense woods,
the rain is not as noticeable until a breeze shakes the trees
shedding its accumulated moisture on me.
I continue, zipping up my rain jacket,
but return earlier than I’d like, in the fading gray,
for there will be no full harvest moon to guide me tonight
as tears now pour from the sky,
each drop pinging off my jacket and into my ears.
Yet, I’m delighted when I get close enough to my lane,
with water running down my bare legs,
to be greeted by cheerful Halloween faces
painted on the sides of three round haybales
in front of my neighbor’s field.
My neighbor’s “jack-o-lanterns” taken today in the rain