Scattering the acorns

(for Daniel)

acorns we collected the previous fall
hung in gunny sacks in the garden shed
to dry and cure
before the leaching and grinding

Jupiter and Saturn were in conjunction
when I learned your cancer had returned
and you would not be coming back
to help make the acorn bread

I waited a few days, a week or two,
a couple of months,
through another acorn season,
and finally, on a crisp January evening,
I scattered the acorns in a winding row
along the edge of our field –

the deer were hungry and fed well that night

someone else may finish the research
on the rock art in the Rodman mountains,
someone will harvest the agave,
open the roasting pit, prepare the meal

someone will collect the pinyon seeds,
oily and rich, on a golden fall day
and spread the nettle leaves
in shallow baskets to dry in the sun
or maybe not –
maybe if the reins are dropped
and no one picks them up
the horses just run free

Barbara Parchim lives on a small farm in southwest Oregon. She enjoys gardening and hiking and volunteered for several years at a wildlife rehabilitation facility caring for raptors and wolves. Her poems have appeared in Allegro Poetry Magazine, Isacoustic*, The New Verse News, Turtle Island Quarterly, Windfall, Front Porch Review, Jefferson Journal and others. Her first book, selected by Flowstone Press, will appear in 2021.

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