The first few fires of autumn laid by me
Here in this stove aren't much; I acknowledge
Even the hummingbird's still caressing blooms, so I
Feeling only a brief dawn chill, build accordingly.
In thickets of summer I range about,
Ratcheting my long-handled pruner among stout sticks,
Stealing from oak and ash, letting in a little light.
These I pile in the long room where that stove squats.
Fueling it with paper and a stack of twigs, admiring
Even the least hints of gold and vermillion therein,
We sit back, warm enough for one dark cup of tea.
For awhile; then day overtakes us, ready
In sweater and chore coat to see to hens;
Really, we shuck those soon enough, sweat on our
Ears and eyelids, summer reborn briefly in our knees.
So; until the ground grows cold that will hold our graves.