"dazzle gradually"

"Dazzle Gradually" 2017 poems, paintings, new art & photography--a diary, a discipline, a delight. Read over my shoulder as I post my unedited poetry ---you can see it in the raw or get my first book and see how the work evolves with new books rolling out next year.


Polly Alice

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hope is like the pumpkin vine

Hope is like the pumpkin vine growing out of the compost heap.
Unexpected but not unreasonable, the vine grew up the fence
between our neighbors yard, over the Hickory Tree that resembles
a thirty-five foot weed, and back down along the grass. 
Pumpkin vines are prickery you know, like evil velcro--
untouchable.  Our neighbors might actually be distantly related
to Pumpkins on that point, but they really aren't pleasant enough
for this to be the case.  I know this one has it's own sense of humor as though the Hickory needed decorating, a hug, a feather boa--whatever
their agreement, I have no idea.

I've planted them for years, pumpkins, but never yet grew one. 
Last year I planted them too early-- two choked themselves to death,
whipped by the spring winds in every direction, the third grew
a vine large enough to drape the garden bed in juicy leaves,
but disappeared in the heat, it's large stem damaged and bent enough from
infancy was unable bear all the weight of fifteen square feet of networking.

I love pumpkins for some unknown reason, maybe their color--maybe they
cheer me up from thinking about how winter will set in.  Both my
children were born with large heads.  "My little Pumpkin blossoms,"
I called them, because of course they were really little pumpkin heads. 
And when the third one didn't make it because of a bend in her umbilical cord--
I knew just what had happened, I'd seen in it my own garden.  Nothing can
grow without a strong stem. And that's what hope is like--it hangs by a thread even when
there really is no chance at all.

When July comes, and I can't possibly do anymore gardening,
it's time to go inside and watch the pumpkin vines cover over the whole mess. 
This one on the fence I'm worried about.  It wilts every day in the heat--
not enough roots in the ground and too much trying to fly right into the air.
Yes it's a vine, but this pumpkin set it's heights on something Heavenly I can't
understand.

Hope is like this pumpkin vine, it reaches above a situation where 
it's doubtful anything good will come-- like this heap of sticks,
weeds, last year's Christmas Tree, and burrs from the Gum Tree,
the pumpkin spring right out of it.  And I recognize the pumpkin
by it's little fruit.  It's our Thanksgiving pumpkin, the one that sat
on our table for three months.  "A Cinderella Pumpkin," the store 
tag boasted of it's golden pink flesh and romantic shape.  The
pumpkin I bought to celebrate our homecoming after the house
was rebuilt from the fire.  The centerpiece for our table, our
first Christmas at our own house. 

So no one cares about this pumpkin except me--that's what hope is like
too.  You can only have your own.  No two hopes are the same.  So
I will look at this little green gem hanging off the vine out of the
trash heap, and I will hope for a free gift, one I didn't work for,
one I didn't plant---an accident.  Hope is like that too.  It's
nothing you plan for, and if you get what you hope for, you often
think it was just a matter of chance. 

So if I do get a beautiful bronzed Cinderella Pumpkin in
my very own yard, I'll do what I always do with hope.
I'll scoop the precious seeds out of its sticky heart and save
them.  Then I'll bake up a storm, and you won't ever
see a table laid full like the one we'll lay this year.
And I already know what I'll say when I'm asked
what I'm thankful for.
 

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