how we frame it

velvety purpley, the color of the morning smoothies
i make for juniper and i
out of frozen freebie bananas,
farm strawberries,
and farmer’s market blueberries
plus a little half and half and
a lot of almond milk
we get to think about how we frame it
i say

about the narrative
of this moment
in this world
we get to tell the truth
but we get to choose how we frame it
i say after reading the writing

about songs to orcas


smudge of moon
halloweening in night sky
while this song plays
on the radio
two pairs of shoulders
simultaneously un-hunching
in separate rooms of the same house
when the neighbor’s air conditioner
that had been running for hours straight
finally stops
3.5 inches of water
in the partly tipped-over rain guage
which means there could have been more
the red warning light on the weather radio glowing
regarding flooding

five leaves of kale
wilting in the back seat
on this day that might be the last of the warm days
of this season
which means sunbathing on the roof
is a must



gray kitty
snuggling my arm/hand
in the back room bed
on this hazy sun-almost-up morning
when i wake
you’re the Big Squash now
juniper says

about me driving the truck with the wagon hitched on
hauling the winter squash harvest in
nestled in their big wooden bins

after doing the box dance
at the head of the line
(shuffling boxes, counting boxes, putting leeks in boxes
and shuffling more boxes and counting more
until one by one
the boxes sail down the line pushed along
by the many hands
that put the carrots in
and daikons in
and sweet peppers in
and tomatoes in
and red onions in
and jalapeños in)
until breaking a sweat
then me and sarah and emma and mattie
head for the last winter squash field
where we clip and toss and clip and toss
racing the clock
to get it all piled up
before 5:30
semi-aerobic i call it
the pattern of greens and light greens and greys
and oranges and yellows and creams
on the carnival squash
whose colors/patterns
remind me of pixelated camo

the arc of each pumpkin
of each acorn squash
as they leave my hands
to land in mattie’s


to breathe

at lunch
sitting under cloud-strokes
that resemble brush-strokes
swiped across sky
how i try to remember to breathe

like i would if i were sitting
when it comes to the ache/discomfort
in various parts of my body
near the end of the 10-hour day
filled with stooping down to reach pepper plants
and to pluck beets
and to harvest daikon,
plus boots on concrete floor
to sort and weigh tomatoes


fruit fly circus juniper calls the
fruit flies around a cherry tomato trapped under a half pint jar


my cheek pressed to carpet
falling asleep on the floor in the backroom
gray kitty’s head and paw
on my hand

summer’s back

the morning
layered in fog so thick that
windshield wipers are required
i am driving through clouds i think
as i point the car farm-wards
along familiar roads
defamiliarized by the thickness i move through

the white rainbow
(arcing just like a rainbow rainbow
but this one, barely noticeable,
a white arc amongst the lighter/grayer everywherefog)
sarah points out from the back of the truck
as we head out to the carrot beds
to pluck the rooty harvest
from the earth
this white rainbow
i later find out
is an actual thing
called a fog rainbow


cate and sarah and mattie
standing in big wood bins on the wagon hooked up to the truck
while lavina, emma and i
toss the butternut squashes
up to them to place in the bins-
over and over: glimpses of that cream/nut colored squash
up against the bright blue cloud-swathed sky

summer’s back i say
barefoot at night
the windows open
the crickets and the rest of their insect chorus


opposite of a drive-in

the gray so thick
it is a celebration
when the sun breaks out
like earth
i say of the smell

of the bowls of carrots
juniper harvested and hauled up from the garden
set in the sink and on the counter
in the kitchen
it’s like the opposite of a drive-in,
jennifer holding the bags of cheese popcorn
and caramel corn
out the car window from the passenger seat
for kevin and ann to snack from while they stand
in the parking lot

last glimpse of the last day of the  county fair
the ferris wheel still
and the sound of an announcer
echoing across the grounds
like the southwest

or tropical
i say of the sunset colors
layered/gradienting from the horizon up
layers of pink and yellow and purple up into blue
rainbow juniper says

in the shape of a question

rain so thick
i drive 40 where i’d normally drive 60
windshield wipers at top speed
seeming as if they might fling themselves entirely
off the car
hotwhiteneon flash
followed by core-rattling thunderboom
i am in the storm
in the neon light
too bright for morning
mat says
honestly, i don’t know about next season
while we’re still waking up
how suzie and emma and lavina and i laugh
when we accidentally grab for the same round fruit
while filling brown paper bag after brown paper bag
with 3.75 pounds of slicer tomatoes
(black and yellow and red and some paste)
the wing-ripped monarch
fluttering on the gravel ground
the tip of kir wing
inches away
good metaphor i think
regarding immigration today
and bullshit borders
and fascist leaders
and crooked laws
and corrupt hearts
and fear-mongering
and did i mention bullshit
shannon on the phone at the park
and the play and screams and shrieks and yells
of young ones coming through
to me on the other end

lisi’s meow
falling out his mouth
in the shape and pitch of a question mark –
supposedly cats talk to humans
in this manner, but not to other cats
the silent red warning light
illuminated on the weather radio
indicating the flash flood warning

purple cursive

first carrot of the season
a-crunch in my mouth
as i drive gray poupon
up the gravel incline away
mogli the fulffy trailer park king cat
lounging on the pink/green polka dotted cornhole board
under the post-rain (for now) sky

purple cursive on notes left
regarding gardens
and hearts
it’s talking i say
about the half gallon of kimchi on the counter
blurbling and squeaking and fizzing