THE TASTE OF TREES

Warm sun, cold night, no wind.

How the snow overtopped our galoshes.

The miracle–no other word–

sap dripping into pails.

The taste of trees.

 

In the shack, ancestral smoke;

Uncle Jersey rising from the steam.

Hot syrup in a sticky jelly glass.

In the house, plain yellow donuts dipped,

amber ribbons on snow,

pickles so we could come back for more.

 

And when it was all done,

stacks of pails,

the woodpile gone,

grainy scrapings from the boiler,

the world’s sweetest thing.

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