Mud time

Mud time arrives in the Berkshires like a bout of anxiety. The clearly defined whites and blacks of winter give way to a queasy beige.  There are downed branches everywhere, hummocks of gravel spewed up by the snowplow.  Everything seems slightly off kilter in the unforgiving light that lingers too long into the afternoon. The frozen dirt road with its well-defined runnels turns overnight into a quagmire — more dangerous than ice.  One road over from us a car sank to its bumpers in the muck.  It’s impossible to imagine that the world was ever green  — or will be again. And then the first of the chives, thin as cat whiskers, push through the dried mat of last year’s bounty.

Mud Season

by Tess Taylor

We unstave the winter’s tangle.
Sad tomatoes, sullen sky.

We unplay the summer’s blight.
Rotted on the vine, black fruit

swings free of strings that bound it.
In the compost, ghost melon; in the fields

grotesque extruded peppers.
We prod half-thawed mucky things. 

In the sky, starlings eddying.
Tomorrow, snow again, old silence.

Today, the creaking icy puller.
Last night I woke

to wild unfrozen prattle.
Rain on the roof—a foreign liquid tongue.

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9 Responses to Mud time

  1. Cheryl Sullivan says:

    It is like that here in Maine as well. Your description of this muddy season was beautiful to read.
    “…..like a bout of anxiety” . I never thought of it that way before.

  2. Max says:

    Hang in there, L&B, the green is coming. It’s just buried in the mud.

  3. Beverly Mills Gyllenhaal says:

    Such fine writing— oh, and the poet’s not bad either!

  4. Barry says:

    Middle March’s maddening muds lead to April’s big beautiful bounty of buds.

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