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.