The apples were green. Gravensteins, sold by the box.
Thickly pared and shaped spiraled peel
cut loose from white pith.
The beans were green. Narrow, straight—five inches.
Pounds counted, dill cut and garlic stripped-
papery wrappings, vinegar and salt.
The peaches were pink. Freestones, plumply shaped.
Slipped skin, pink flesh, astonishingly moist
juices running freely.
The jars were clean. Steamed and hellfire hot.
Spoons dipped, thick syrup and pulp poured.
Tongs dipped—my hands scalded.
The jams and pickles cool. Like gems
set neatly—blanketed from night’s airy season.
Pinging metal, singing sound.
I look in the mirror. Hair frizzed like a terrier.
Cheeks damp with menopause.
Satisfied—fall’s Mona Lisa.
Causes Madeline MacGregor Supports