When fall arrives I become like a squirrel
out gathering food for winter.
In addition to craving all sorts of hearty, starchy foods,
my soul and eyes and nose and hands also crave
a good rich, earthy feast.
Everywhere I go, I rather greedily stuff
my pockets and bags with beauty.
The roadside, salt marsh, and sandy beach
are among my favorite places to hunt & gather.
Once home, I spill my treasures
onto the table--the better to admire and plan.
I fill a wooden bowl with buttery-gold farmers market pears
and a metal sap bucket with wild asters.
These miniature, often temporary, collections serve as touchstones
around our house, places to rest the eye and let the mind wander
before focusing again on paying bills or cooking dinner.
I like to think they ground me,
although to say that they distract me
from what needs doing is probably much closer to the truth.
This magpie will never be as practical
as the clever, prudent squirrel.