FRESH OFF THE PAGE: One last bright day

I got the feeling that today was the end. The last day of relative warmth, of feeling heat in the sunshine, of hearing the buzz of a bee in the yard at noontime. I vowed to get out and make the most of it.

Moulting apparently done, I let my chickens out of their coop for one last hurrah roaming the yard. They scratched in the leaves covering my garden beds, disturbing my mess. I mostly tried not to mind, they were happy and free for a bit. So tomorrow I will just rake it all back into place.

I also fed the songbirds, picked a few of the remaining stragglers in the vegetable garden (broccoli, brussel sprouts and kale), planted a mock orange shrub that waited patiently all summer for me to find the right spot for it. I potted up a few of my herbs to try wintering them over inside. It might not work, it hasn’t before. The house doesn’t get a whole lot of bright sun in the winter. But I decided to try again.

Whether it really was the last fine day or not, I can’t say. But I was glad to have the opportunity to enjoy it, be outside in the garden with my plants and the chickens. The poem below came out of it, too, arriving as I first felt myself grow hot inside my fleece, digging happily in the dirt under the eye of the sun.

one last bright day

one day more of sun
hard in my face
along my arms
before it disappears
one last chance
to sink my fingers
into the earth
dig down deep
and squeeze
holding tightly
to what remains
this last bright day
pressing roots, soil
and soul into place
one last moment
to feel a promise
of life and hope
know it will return
anew, green and sweet
again come spring
now though, to bed