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Asparagus

From snow pools and dark soil, it rises.
Spring’s scout. With rubber boots
we walk the morning field
scanning the fine light air of May.
Asparagus teaches us to see
its peculiar green (neither thistle nor pea),
look for the shy lithe curve of its stem
like a giraffe grazing on neighbors:
foxtail, quackgrass. We snap and stack
them one by one in the tub, careful
not to crumble their velvety heads.
Soon June brings strong sun, chard and lettuce,
sugar peas, the joyful stain of beets and strawberries.
Then corn stalks whisper. Spring’s tender
shoots crushed by the bushel. Potato
and summer squash. Long days grown forgetful
of winter. No more cold mornings. No more
sharp whiff rising from our urine
like a reminder of death.
Posted 04/22/12
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