knowing the hours

not that i wouldn’t have appreciated it anyway,
but having tapped the trees in the past
and knowing the hours and hours that go into
cooking the sap down
and knowing how precious the rationed quarts
(in a slim year) were,
i extra-special appreciate
when one of my farmbosses
asks if i like maple syrup
before telling me he left me a quart
of this year’s syrup
which i move from the driver’s seat
to the back seat floor
when i get in

for the curvy ride home

on pitch

how i open the kitchen window a bit
to let the sound of the spring peepers chorus in
through the darkness and mellow air
of the night
while i make my peanut butter and jelly sandwich
for tomorrow’s work day
while making sure not to get wheaty crumbs
on anything
and how that sound feels
as if some instrument inside me
is being played – one that hasn’t made music
for several seasons –
a kind of blooming,
a brass note eager to sing
a string resonating right on pitch

rectangle of sun

the rectangle of sun
coming in the back side-door
for the first time in months as this
is the first open-side-door day
of the coming-into-spring season

the dusty dried quality
of the land/view
as seen from the season’s
first run
stubbed cornfields
chalky road

a fizz

the sound of snowsleet
pelting theĀ  windows
as it filters down
through the birches
not a static,
not a fizz,
but something like it

maneuvering the roots

plant after young green plant
we lift hundreds, maybe a thousand some
baby pepper sprouts

from the 1020 trays they sprouted in
into their new 72 cell trays
maneuvering the roots
with hand whittled chopstick-like maneuverers

the semi-siamese
wild terror cat
(youngling of the farm’s mommacat)
attacking everything
(my knee, the dangly things on the camp chair, my arm,
the lunch bag, etc)
in the sun and wind
alongside the barn

woodsmoke smell wafting to the greenhouse
from where the kiddos’s grandpa
adds logs to the fire
cooking the maple sap down and down and down
sabrina and kp and juniper and i
discussing the enneagram
in a booth
on their spring break
at the driftless cafe
on a night that is
certainly spring

we are less famous

my morning heron,
skinny legs out and wings open
flying overhead as i follow the curves of highway J
to the curves of highway 27-82
to the curves of highway 82
shifting my weight in the greenhouse
from one foot to another every now and then
through seven hours of pottingĀ  up pepper plants
and even though it was 8 kajillion plants
and the same thing all day
i was content
because it was plants,
because it was sunlit
because it was hanging out
in a space with a million baby green things
that eventually will go into the ground
and become food
no one’s ever given me a whale-snail

i exclaim to juniper
who made me a little paper cut out
that is a snail if you look at it from left to right
and a whale if you look at it from right to left
we are less famous at the polling place
because this time we drove
like everybody else

in the mostly quiet

wrapped in green and stuffed into mailbox #419:
harry potter and the goblet of fire

it’s like it’s pushing spring back and saying
“it’s not your time yet”
i say

about today’s cool and wind and gray

the full length window
in front of which i pen letters
in the mostly quiet library

when the parts of a song
come together in such a way during practice
that the choir sections that listen on
while the other sections work on getting the hang of it
cheer and whoop after the final note
in this case, it’s unclouded day