more planting

Today I planted 75 cucumber seeds, 25 spaghetti squash seeds, 50 pumpkin seeds (Howden for carving, Baby Pam variety for pies) and more sunflowers. Day two of full sun for both the plants and I; the former is doing well, withstanding the sun and the breezes well enough, the latter has become tan overnight (with tinges of red--ouch). Night rituals now include rolling down pant legs before coming into the house, shaking the dirt out of clothes creases; stripping down in my coat room and leaving gardening clothes and mud packed shoes there; satisfying cool showers where rivulets of brown water are chased away by skin-rawing scrubbing; homestyle manicures for blistered and camouflage-stained hands, mud caked nails. There is something so satisfying about gardening. Life is good.

Still too tired for long blog, must go nap. Will share a funny poem I read years ago and found again today:

"Attack of the squash people"
And thus the people every year
in the valley of humid July
did sacrifice themselves
to the long green phallic god
and eat and eat and eat.
They're coming, they're on us,
the long striped gourds, the silky
babies, the hairy adolescents,
the lumpy vast adults
like the trunks of green elephants.
Recite fifty zucchini recipes!

Zucchini tempura; creamed soup;
sauté with olive oil and cumin,
tomatoes, onion; frittata;
casserole of lamb; baked
topped with cheese; marinated;
stuffed; stewed; driven
through the heart like a stake.

Get rid of old friends: they too
have gardens and full trunks.
Look for newcomers: befriend
them in the post office, unload
on them and run. Stop tourists
in the street. Take truckloads
to Boston. Give to your Red Cross.
Beg on the highway: please
take my zucchini, I have a crippled
mother at home with heartburn.

Sneak out before dawn to drop
them in other people's gardens,
in baby buggies at churchdoors.
Shot, smuggling zucchini into
mailboxes, a federal offense.

With a suave reptilian glitter
you bask among your raspy
fronds sudden and huge as
alligators. You give and give
too much, like summer days
limp with heat, thunderstorms
bursting their bags on our heads,
as we salt and freeze and pickle
for the too little to come. 

-- Marge Piercy


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