Praise Song

This is a poem perfect for the late fall in Alabama. Usually Daniel’s maple tree has colored and dropped its flouncy bloom by the third week in October.  (I know you don’t know Daniel our neighbor, or his tree.) Daniel is usually unhappy about the raking that comes after the molting.  I think it is a privilege to rake up after our majestic trees and yes, I have put the time in. We finally had a cold night just a few days ago and are rewarded in golden yellows, reds, and oranges.

Praise Song                                                Barbara Crooker

Praise the light of late November,

the thin sunlight that goes deep in the bones.

Praise the crows chattering in the oak trees;

though they are clothed in night, they do not

despair. Praise what little there’s left:

the small boats of milkweed pods, husks, hulls,

shells, the architecture of trees. Praise the meadow

of dried weeds: yarrow, goldenrod, chicory,

the remains of summer. Praise the blue sky

that hasn’t cracked yet. Praise the sun slipping down

behind the beechnuts, praise the quilt of leaves

that covers the grass: Scarlet Oak, Sweet Gum,

Sugar Maple. Though darkness gathers, praise our crazy

fallen world; it’s all we have, and it’s never enough.


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