The Meeting of the Gourds

The Meeting of the Gourds

She cradled her army

of tiny followers

In a royal blue hand-me-down shirt

Held up by teeth

To reveal a bare brown bottom

Soaking up the last

Chilly sun rays of Autumn.


This girl will be as close

To naked as she can

For as many months

Of this Vermont year

As she can.

Bare feet crunching

On brown and yellow leaves,

Toes and knees

The permanent color

Of gardens and grass stains.


No matter that her child's body

Is battling at the gates

Of womanhood.

She holds on

With an iron grip

To the fierce imagination

Of a babe.


Fairies eat from tiny acorn pots

And cook the littlest of squashes

In their snug little log house

Insulated with bundles of pine needles

Just as we surround

Our crumbling old foundations

With bags of raked leaves

Or bales of hay.

They scratch tiny messages

On Birch bark stationary

With bits of tiny campfire charcoal.

And rescue Woolly Bears

Who are slow to hibernate.


Accidentally, I find a note

To the fairies:

She is convinced that fencing lessons

Are a sure prerequisite

To running away.

And she is sure that running away

Is the key to adventure.

She plans to arm herself

With Mother Nature's found

Unicorn head staff

And is taking in

The education of sword fighting

With the seriousness of a soldier.

She has plans to research

The perils and benefits

Of forest plants and edibles

And with her decade of mother's love

Stored away in her little heart

She prepares to set out

Into the world -

To seek adventure

And defend herself against

All that hides behind

The curtain of youth.


Ah, but the glory of today!

The now is all that matters.

She wants to know

If there are chores to do,

If she has to take a bath,

If we have to go anywhere?


And if we do,

As soon as we are home

She begins to strip off

The confinement of her wardrobe.

A trail of pants and shirt,

Socks and underwear

Always in her wake.

Getting closer to her essence,

To the earth

That gave her life

Feet rooted

In the rocky dirt.


Chickens amble past

Dog basks in late day sun,

Chewing on a bone;

Cat stalks grasshoppers

Naked girl squats in front of a crowd

Of tiny gourds,

All placed in a semi-circle around her.

She addresses them importantly

Like the citizens

Of her private country

A nation of believers and dreamers.

Childish innocence and free spirit

Affirmed for another day.



Drinking It Raw

Drinking It Raw

Sharon Beal: A Champion of USA-Made

Sharon Beal: A Champion of USA-Made