Breath of Dawn*


A shroud of mist bathes the dawn

with the breath of the yawning earth.

The lips of green hollows freshen

as hickory and honeysuckle wash

across the golden stubblefields.

The ripening voice of an oriole

wakes up a hedgerow of chickadees.

But soon the sun rolls along

and softly burns away the dew.

The sweat of men and dust of discs

and glint of steel stain the air.

Then, after the settledown of the dusk

and the sleepfall of the wheels of the world,

the night is pierced with the stare of the stars

and drenched with the pour of the moon

till rinsed and pressed and ready

to put on a clean tomorrow.


Jerome L. McElroy


Connecticut River Review (Spring/Summer 1990) (11) (2): 7.