Every year in September I feel an urge to harvest...apples on the roadside and I imagine a cider press. Most years like this, I feel too busy...this poem a vicarious pleasure :)


In an apartment parking lot
where chubby dogs are walked by chubby owners,
who sometimes smoke cigarettes,
flicked ash on flecked pavement,
near the industrial trash bins,
in the medium between parking stalls,
I heard thock, thock, thock,
at regular intervals.

So many questions
I didn’t stop to answer.
Was it a squirrel as I assumed?
Really dropping acorns?
Why did I think, way to go champ,
as though squirrels are only male?
Was he/she gathering early?
Do they really fill their squirrelly cheeks?
Have a nest with a larder?
Why is my squirrel knowledge
scanty and from children’s books?

I didn’t investigate, not wanting to disturb
I rationalized, but really I was
anxious to get on the road ahead of traffic.
But all the way as I drove,
I envied the little bugger,
not having to go to the grocery
as I was headed, no pacing the aisles
deliberating what’s for dinner.

I have a taste of it when I let
the pantry get bare,
a can of garbanzo beans
and sardines on a heel of bread for supper.
I have let my car stay in the shop,
don’t fill the washing machine
so I wear the jeans at the bottom of the drawer.
So liberating sometimes
to affix the last stamp,
to make an envelope
out of paper and tape.