so i can wash

dandelion drink
warm and sweet simmered on the stove
for hours
whose root i collected
on thursday
cooked on sunday now
sipping as i decompress hard people
of the day
those people that, (make me think of that poem i memorized once, words of
rumi
through the english translation of daniel ladinsky)

punch a hole in your being whenever they are around
and then you leak out energy and other kinds of vitals you could have used *

reflecting how on my good days there are no people like that
right? but some days they seem to be
everywhere

well not everywhere, just in particular places

taking a bite of a (maybe gala sort of sweet not too special) apple
and refilling
my mug, one i’ve carried along with me to different houses and
homes, in the car, and sometimes to work, across the country and back? shades of sky blue with a ridged handle so i can wash
down

the apple with some more
dandelion root.

 

 

*the china doll in us – rumi, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

the water shines

watching the steam rise from three mugs of tea on the kitchen counter in the morning of a workday but i am on vacation

peach juice dribbles down my chin near where webber road enters
historic whately and my fingers are sticky so i wipe them on my
shirt before grabbing the handlebars again and srs says this is what i want when i retire and at first i think she means running a peach farm and setting up a stand like the one we’ve come across, which seems like a lot of work for retirement
but then i realize she means biking over back roads in the hills with friends stopping along the way to eat peaches

the way the water shines on the rocks above the dam
glimmering in afternoon light
and i slide into it and submerge myself (just a little bit colder than i would prefer)

dangling our bare feet

four in the bed laughing, and my eyes are still closed half sleeping, what’s funny is the poem s is reading aloud, and when c uses his poetry voice, and that we all jumped on each other to wake up early on a sunday, and then everyone’s exclaiming lyrics from songs trying to remember that one about the morning

the dried lilac on the dashboard and the banana peel in the cup holder and the beet juice stain on the steering wheel as i’m driving the back roads, passing the small stretch which curves to the left, down a hill, where the japanese knotweed shines particularly bright green and red growing over the guardrails, threatening to take over the pavement

when we are dangling our bare feet over the dock, the cold water lapping up against our toes, with our shoes and socks strewn on the wooden platform and the hood of my sweatshirt is up, sheltering me from the wind.

a woman runs up and asks, out of breath, in a whisper – did you turn off the tea water before we left?- to the man standing next to me at the concert in the barn and he responds with a firm nod and her face relaxes, because the concert is almost over, the last song is being played, and there would have probably not been any more tea water left.

evident at the first glance

when n (eleven years old) unexpectedly starts in about going to his therapist on thursdays, (just as a side note to me) in the middle of when I was teaching him and the others about wild edibles. it’s dark out, and we’re all huddled around close, every kid with a matching green mug
sipping
the white pine needle brew we just made,
and his language is
precise and
calculated- retelling some of the things he and his therapist talk about. i can’t help but smile listening to his concerted effort to be in the here and now.
he then inserts a line about how his body responds well to the tea
and I am not entirely sure what he means by this, except that he is drinking all of the contents of his mug, tilting his head as far back as he can to finish the (weakly brewed) concoction.
before the interruption I had been telling them about how
white pine needles are great for colds and chest congestion
with lots of vitamin
c.

 

the short amount of research I did about red maple buds (the only blooming flower within walking distance for me to grab a few twigs, in this colder microclimate of the hills) to show my students, when I read the evidence on the internet that suggests the plant to be “polygamomonoecious,” in the words of Harvard professor P. Barry Tomlinson, which means, in words I can understand, that a red maple tree could be entirely male, entirely female, or ambiguous in gender by producing both male and female flowers. and that a single tree could change this pattern from year to year.
i decide to just stick to the basics of
flower
morphology
in my lesson, while also affirming that things aren’t always what they seem to be. how especially in this case, gender presentation isn’t always
evident at the
first glance.