conscious of my chewing (kale salad with pieces of mashed sweet potato) in the
silent kitchen just after
10pm – the dinner i found waiting for me on the counter
with a plate covering the top of the bowl and tongs
poised for the taking
as i slipped in through the door late, from this
and now im eating with my fingers out of the small blue bowl with shades of black and copper that i made (last November) and i’m on my fourth serving of kale salad because of how (small) the bowl is and how
(fluffy) the kale is.
as i am chewing
the light on upstairs of e grading papers and the pink glow from ro’s room (late night newsletter writing) and the empty space of knowing that f is still out on her first 24 hour shift (at the new hospital) all combined
(not to mention the weather forecast of frost) translates
to a feeling of a certain weight
weight of arriving
to a quiet house,
of identifying everyone in a place, their place,
of feeling a part and apart (at the same time)
washing the bowl out in the sink, rinsing my
turning off the light over the stove
arriving at a’s place after a winding drive of watching spring trees bloom, ready for a promised nettle harvest and whatever else we might come across, i find her in the woods looking for the perfect tree to set up her newly built
wood duck nesting
after finding the perfect tree (a standing dead elm just at the edge of the pond) we weave and crash our way through the phragmites to balance the wood duck box against the tree trunk to
screw it in place.
i am covered in wood shavings (that we put inside the box as a nest filler) and it becomes apparent that the screws we have are just a little too small to hold up the (wood duck size) box high up on the tree. it (only sort of) falls on my head as i let go of it, and so we stop our endeavors to wait for
more appropriate hardware.
following a’s instructions on holding the edge of the nettle leaf while cutting the stem, my fingers don’t get stung for the first time when nettle collecting. see! she says smiling with a told-you-so inflection in her voice if we’re gentle with the nettle she’ll be gentle with us.
on the way to my car, hands full of said nettles (and some raspberry leaf forages) (and a couple of horseradish leaves) i run into r in the driveway. you went shopping? i ask to his hands full of grocery bags. yeah, post farm day shopping. he is wearing end of the day dirty clothes.
sheepishly, he holds up a bag so i can have a better look. i had to buy kale he says and we both laugh acknowledging the criminality of that act. as far as i’m concerned, he says spring could last forever, butwe just need summer so that we don’t have to buy kale.