Sweetness and Smoke

| Filed under

Contributor: Brian Baumgarn

- -
He remembered the Ohio of his youth.
Winters of pure, glistening snow. His parents
taking him on wagon rides over the deep,
winding trails of naked woodlands.
Swooping great horned owl, fog-breathed
whitetail deer, and string-like clouds flirting
with a cool, pearlescent cup of moon.

At trail's end, wagons emptying.
Families standing and sitting around a
great, crackling bonfire. Smoke-laden
breath from burning hickory, maple, and ash
stinging his eyes and lungs. Aromatic.
People singing. Warm cider and cinnamon.
Cookies and treats.
The plush fragrance of steaming coffee
that he was still too young to share.
It was all splendid adventure. Afterward,
falling into a dreamless, hibernal sleep
before getting halfway home.

Later in winter. People drawing the
blood of the maple trees into buckets.
He had seen it drip from miniscule
tap-wounds in the bark. As the tree was
alive, he pondered if this hurt?
Workers hauling the sap-laden buckets
toward slat sided shacks hidden deep
within the forest.
The maple's lifeblood being rendered
into the most savory syrup
and maple sugar candy.
Sweet treats and a delicacy
for pancakes and waffles.
Ambrosia, his mother and father called it.

Life was all sweetness and smoke.
Crisp, clear, untried.
His mother and father were so right.

- - -
A 65 year old working with developmentally disabled men. Became interested in writing again after the passing of my mother and father in successive years.


Powered by Blogger.