Out of Season Here
The corn is mowed down, field by field.
The stalks, yesterday standing tall like soldiers in parade,
green uniforms ablaze with color,
tassels flying in the wind,
are laid low, harvested for their fruit,
and laid low,
Brown stubs are all that remain.
Already the farmers have begun spreading manure
A dark stain on the fields,
to lie fallow over the winter
and prepare the ground. The promise
of new seasons.
The air is full of manure’s smell.
A blind man could know the season
in the cool air and old-fashioned air.
These first victims of autumn lack brightness,
they have become brittle without color,
brown, the moment they fall.
The leaves that still remain begin to show their yellows and reds.
Soon the horizons will transform into an impressionist’s palette.
You feel a stirring,
a sense that you are out of season, blooming
as the world slows down.
You feel the sap in your veins
You do not question it.
Seasons of the soul are not as predictable
as the ones here in the hills where you live.
You simply live in them
and find the beauty that is there.
That is enough.
You prepare to go to work.
The leaves crunch underfoot.
The air is thick with the corpses of corn.
On your face, a smile of spring,
out of season again.
About this poem
The images at the beginning of the poem are a word picture of the farms here in southwestern Vermont this week. It is harvest time in the cornfields, the short and furious New England growing season coming to fruit. I took a chilly, top on the convertible down drive to West Arlington last night and the sights and smells of the drive linger in my mind this morning.
A lot of us feel like we never quite fit in. We never quite seem to be where the world around us is. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a thing. You get used to it.
The picture is one of the rare ones here that is not mine. It’s a piece of stock photography I bought for a marketing project a couple of years ago and never used.