tenth month’s blessing

comes from the word “eight,”
back from when it was the eighth month
in the ancient calendar
before January and February were added.
So much of what can be said for September applies here
and will in November and December too.

So may this tenth month with the eighth name
bless you with particular seasonal expectations—
with cold fronts on the wings of storms
and crisp air inhaled deep,
refreshing,
a fire in the evening, crackling,
embers bright,
and the smell of woodsmoke,
the sight of, memory of, or the wish for
beautiful fall foliage,
fresh apples, mums,
and pumpkin patches
(and pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin butter),
Halloween smiles (full of sharp teeth!),
the fun of costumes,
and the rich blessing of family and friends
now gone,
on whose shoulders we stand,
who point us to the rich blessing
of family and friends around us.

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