Bio Note: Starting the second winter of my life in Vermont, the visible and psychological landscape has been and will be for some weeks yet SNOW. I've been working on a long series of poems about snow and this poem reflects something I learned about March last year.
Long Road to the Sugar Shack for Sugar on Snow
I stop the car in mud ruts. A thaw after a blizzard. Halfway to the shack where white vapor will be the happiest sight in Vermont in late March. Last night’s heavy snowfall droops heavy limbs. The sun, our star of white on white, blares full strength in up-above blue. Alone on a road within this snow lattice I wonder when it falls to pieces, this exaltation of impermanence before I drive to where a young boy stands in a blue wool hat and black boots, his job to point where I should park. I confess. I don’t back up well. His nod is almost complicit, forgiving. Maybe he knows things he does not do well. His easiness hints that he is out here for love of his family’s sugarbush. Sun sparkle on snow. I say I’ve come to try hot maple syrup on shaved ice with a pickle and a doughnut. My first. He follows me, an old lady who can’t reverse well and doesn’t know what’s inside the weathered shack – perfume of maple and scurried work. The mother in me tells his brother how well the boy performs as valet. The sugar season treat is sweet and sour, sticky and wet. Thumbs up to my watcher. Another nod. He vanishes to give more directions and waves me out as I lurch back down his road with one bottle of Amber A just-made syrup, what was sap yesterday. Whatever fear I had of marvels melting, nothing has. Yet. My way back is as fragile and elegant as the way in, laced with that boy’s sweetness and white drizzled on naked woods.
©2020 Tricia Knoll
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