Earth Etude for Elul 22

Rosh HaShanah in the Northern Latitudes

by Louise Quigley

(Written in a year when Rosh Hashanah, the Autumn equinox, and the first killing frost in the garden all came together)

Now frost-blighted fuchsias start to rot,
crumpled tomatoes sag against their poles,
and sap’s ebb spreads across the leaves like gold;
dark outlasts day again, and it gets cold.
And this is the world’s birthday, this the day
we call the head and start of another year.
For now all nature turns to its decay:
dun yard trash molders into fertile loam;
Earth turns towards winter’s still, which turns towards spring;
We turn again on our twisting journey home.

Louise Quigley
is a gardener, writer, family person and activist.

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