It comes softly to us like a gentle friend
on these fine September mornings,
stepping lightly through the forming dew
and speaking quietly in a low voice
that barely ripples through the receding chorus
of crickets and cicadas.
It lays a hand upon our shoulders
in something like the touch of small brown leaves
gathering in the gutters on the eaves
and lying along the grassy edge of the concrete driveway.
It bends slowly toward our ears,
near enough that we can feel the breath of autumn
against the skin.
We drink in the cool, clean fragrance
that wipes away the clinging tiredness
of long, humid days and summer’s aching sun.
We know that harvest is just begun
and there are many fields
yet to surrender their yields to the barn.
There is labor left that will draw us nearer to
the halos of harvests gliding through distant fields:
long, late nights of equipment lights
shining through the dusk and into the dust
of seed husks separated from the seed,
leaves shattered from the forgotten needs of dry stalks
forming strips along the endless ridges.
But even though we know that we cannot shirk this work,
we wake to such days as this,
grateful that the days of planting
have yielded the fruits of labor and faith,
the blessings of sun and rain
upon the fields of both the just and the unjust
and will give thanks for the harvest
and the rest that is yet to come
and for these fine September mornings
that come to us like a gentle friend,
fresh coffee steaming new promises
into the healing air.