Clothing My Toes


Tricia sent me a fabulous poem about the beginning of fall, Clothing My Toes. I couldn’t find just the right image, so she offered this one yesterday, with this note:

Here’s the withered pumpkin vine. Note that the gardener got inventive with fencing material for climbing up the pie pumpkins. It worked well except for this pumpkin that decided to grow in the middle of the fence.  Oh, that gardener was me.

I had to laugh, even while feeling just a little bit sorry for that pumpkin and her tight corset. Tricia said it’d all be fine; soon she’d be harvested and made into a beautiful and delicious Thanksgiving pie.

—Sandra Knauf

Clothing My Toes

When leaves begin to fall at the beginning of August,
I turn my face aside, thinking them weak.

Sure, I collect black lupine seeds
to sow near the creek next spring.

When the furnace man comes two weeks later
to service the fan, I hand him two brandywine tomatoes

to say we are so far from winter, aren’t we good caretakers
even if the green bean vines are withery and the beans go fat.

When the pumpkins ripen on a mildewed vine,
I look forward to thanksgiving pies and soups.

The rainstorm that blew in after a half day of thickening clouds
made me glad the asters would get more water.

The hummingbird has so much in the garden to taste test
that I have not had to refill the feeder this week.

It wasn’t until today, the first of September
when I pulled out a pair of socks

for the first time in months
that I switched on fall.

* * *

Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet with two books in print – Ocean’s Laughter (Aldrich Press 2016) and Urban Wild (Finishing Line Press 2014). Website:

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