Lane County Farmer’s Market
We’re two weeks into November,
the air sharp as a blade of ice.
You buy a jar of blackberry honey
at a stall that conjures radiance.
I rest our bags on the ground;
sleek leeks, onions in crackly skins,
heavy carrots and potatoes. All around us,
people with baskets on their arms
touch, taste, weigh, praise. Exult.
Is it my imagination, or is everyone
light-hearted, happy, damn near giddy
with relief? “It’s going to be an amazing meal,”
a woman promises her companion. Their arms
cradle smooth-skinned butternut squash
and bulbous stalks of Brussel sprouts. I stand
beside a sapling that still bears green leaves,
scalloped edges gleaming gold. Right there,
in air almost cold enough to snow, my heart unfurls
like a fiddlehead fern—completely out of season.
My heart thinks its spring: the world opening up
after darkness, sun returning, seedlings emerging
like little emissaries from a country
called hope. Silly heart. It falls in love
with every person who strolls past. Reverently,
you tuck the amber jar into one of our bags.
As we walk, you name the soups in our future:
potato leek, carrot ginger, French onion.
Our bellies know we teeter on the edge
of the long darkness. But today, the word
November is just a series of black marks
on the calendar. Not our souls.