“Wooly Bear” by By Gerry Dincher from Hope Mills, NC (Uploaded by GrapedApe), via Wikimedia Commons
You could opine that leaves burnished too early,
too hot this summer, too dry, the drifts
of wildfire smoke cured garden plants
like old tobacco. Then the woolly bears
seek sun-warmed cement, roses force
dwindling charms to make hips on forked canes,
last tomatoes announce they will only get green,
and powdery mildew silvers up the cucumber vines
like a harvest moon. Then it is fall.
* * *
Tricia Knoll’s most recent book is Broadfork Farm
, a series of love poems for the creatures, family, and gardens at a small organic farm in Trout Lake, Washington. In a time of urban disturbance, retreating to the farm brings a measure of peace.
(Note on wooly/woolly bear from the photographer on the Wikimedia Commons page:
“Legend in my part of Pennsylvania states that you can predict the winter weather by looking at the coloring of a wooly bear caterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella). This guy says that Pennsylvania will have a cold start and finish to winter with a mild period in between. Either way I am glad I live in North Carolina. This critter was photographed at
Cowanesque Lake in Lawrence Township, Tioga County, Pennsylvania.”)—SK