Saturday, November 12, 2022

Lane County Farmer's Market

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.