Tuesday, March 17, 2015


We had the sun in a skillet
those well-fed summers.
Green beans, tomatoes,
and okra head high.
Wide mouth Ball jars brim full of berries.
Cucumber vines.

I'd run through the millet
(mown and baled by the summer),
and my muscles moved long
and loose on my bones.
Trading the garden for Wildhorse Bridge
to get myself alone..

Years trying to fill it -
the hole left by those summers
of sweat and squash bugs
and long rows to hoe.
My eyes were fireflies then; now, I'm a question
that I've outgrown.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads


Kerry O'Connor said...

This is a seamless invocation of time and place: set it to music or paint it on a canvas, it is art.

Fireblossom said...

This reminds me a bit of "Dog Days", though it is entirely its own. What a sensory feast this is, how you've made those former summers come back, as well as the solitude of the (so well named) bridge. Finally, the gap, the hunger with nothing to assuage it, that so many of us know so well, though it differs in the details. Wonderful stuff.

Sylvia K said...

Ah, yes, I do agree with Kerry! A great one as always, MZ, and art it is! Hope your week is off to a great start!

Outlawyer said...

Terrific MZ--I love the rhyme and slant rhyme especially and the first stanza, which does describe a summer harvest so beautifully--thanks. k. (Manicddaily)

Susan said...

Yes! The road not taken is like the grass being greener on the other side of the fence. This is especially true for those of us with richly engaged childhoods of work and running and eating and play--OH! I wonder if children of children of farmers inherit any of this? Such a changed world. I've forgotten to be a question of the family/past in the face of a different richness. Love this poem!

Jazzbumpa said...

This is magnificent
The structure
The cadence
The imagery
The sense of longing


Marian said...

Oh, this just makes me sigh. Okra is so beautiful when it flowers. And I love your rhymes in this.

Björn Rudberg said...

Oh that closing.. to have outgrown those days... somehow the pain of growing up twirled with the sweetness of summer... wonderful

rallentanda said...

A lovely romp through a chilhood summer. Beautiful imagery... a nice progression from firefly eyes to a question mark outgrown.

grapeling said...

killer close, MZ ~

Jim said...

I wasn't sure what to expect here, Mom Zee. I liked the resignation; forgetting what we came for, what was bothering, what had been soul consuming.
Does time heal?

Margaret said...

Adore the beginning and the whole poem just builds from that strong base. Loved it.

blueoran said...

Wonderful sense of circling back to the homegrown origin story. How did Wendell Berry put it -- the long hunter has to go all the way out before s/he can complete the circuit by coming home. "... a question / that I've outgrown." Yes o yes.

hedgewitch said...

Summer both in a skillet, (and of course, knowing where you are, AS a skillet) opens this with both heat and nourishment, but everything has its price, sweat equity, pressure cooking--the question may be outgrown, but the answer...perhaps a different story.

Susmit said...

Brautiful imagery! So serene, taking us back to childhood days.

Katy Magee said...

I've come back to this post several times since you posted it. I love the wistful pensiveness it makes me feel, and the robustness of the memories it recalls.

One of my favorites, and you do so many that I love.

Laura said...

The beginning so full of promise "We had the sun in a skillet
those well-fed summers."… the end so wistful and unsure… I suppose this is how it is for many of us looking back, but here we stand doing our best in THIS moment, like we did back then.