Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oh please tell me it's spring!

So innocently

I put a bag of supermarket string-beans
into my shopping basket, thinking
they would be a crisp treat
on this cold-drizzle day of work
and dark and damp. Needless to say

back home, beans bought and paid for
in cash, two dollars and thirty-eight cents
I took a reckless bite
from the end of one: long, firm,
slender, an elegant green.

In that single bite
I tasted



and skinned knees,

long evenings

and mosquito bites,

barbeque smoke,


summer soil. Needless to say,

In that single bite
I have endangered my belief in winter,
I have railroaded
my seasonal survival plan.

Rachel Westfall
January 20, 2009


Poetikat said...

I love how you have articulated what we all experience - that recollection of memories through the senses from one single taste. Excellent!


RachelW said...

The effect really did take me by surprise!

Funny thing is, hours after I wrote this poem, my daughter was sitting in front of a bowl full of those beans with a slice of raspberry jammed-bread in her hand, and she said "I smell summer."

Faith said...

Oh, I love this poem. I miss the fresh produce so much.

I tried to leave a comment on your last poem, but must have messed up somehow. I really have been enjoying reading all of your posts.

I know you don't know me that well, but if you stop by my blog, I have a "Friends" award for you there. I really think the feel you give here at your blog is one of caring and friendship:) Thanks.

RachelW said...

Thank you so much, Faith! I am really touched and moved by what you have said, and your gift. :) Yu have really made me smile today!

christopher said...

This One I Saw Coming

There's a small green shoot
Where that gray squirrel buried
His nut. He forgot.
Now it's spring. I watched
When he placed it, and now watch
This tree start to grow.
This beautiful sprout,
The walnut came from next door,
Is nestled beside
The old dogwood just
Now waking for the season.
Makes me sad, it does.

It's sad I have to pull it.

RachelW said...

Beautiful, Christopher! And yes, sad... the gardener's heartbreak.

One spring in Vancouver, I found a couple of horse chestnuts sprouting in the mossy hill beside my door, where the squirrels had hidden them the previous autumn. I took them and planted them in a big pot outside my door, hoping they would grow and I could have a potted chestnut tree to plant somewhere, whenever I found a permanent home. The next morning, I discovered that the squirrels had dug them up and partially eaten them! Damn! I was disappointed, but then again, it was I who was the thief, not the squirrels.

Noelle said...

I taste it all....great sensory use. Nice writing.

RachelW said...

Thanks, Noelle! I have to admit this one too was influenced by a kid's book... Grasper, the tale of a little crab who dares to go out into the great wide world when he has molted and is still soft. It's the only way a crab can grow, but all his friends tell him to hide, and not to believe in what he sees when he is soft. He scrambles to the top of the rocks, and he sees....

Charli said...

Hi Rachel! This poem gives me CHILLS. I love this: "In that single bite
I have endangered my belief in winter" - wonderful.

Oh how I feel your pain! I am SO COLD! Please let spring come quickly!

RachelW said...

Hi Charli! I can see now why so many people escape to tropical places in January... it never really appealed to me before, but this year, it does, for some reason. I usually love winter! Why is it so hard to embrace it this year? I think it was the false spring. Shall we escape to some tropical island?