Farmer’s Market Portola Ave, For My Daughter
I walk amid the market’s masked crowd astonished
I could have spent such time in hibernation.
The yellow-jacketed girls swirl
until their jackets touch like a melding of two suns,
the blue-jeaned throngs sand their legs together
as if polishing their knees or like beetles
removing scents from where they’ve been.
Old and young men’s shaved heads shine
in the early sunlight, and a bag of corn,
tassels slightly blackened by summer’s scorch
stand like photographic negatives
to bleached blondes with darkened roots.
I have missed the sight of you,
but in the market am among your people,
the young woman selling dahlias and squash
with a green apron and blue headband,
the flickering eyes of a babe
bobbing in the backpack of her mother
not knowing whether to look or fall asleep,
in the strolling and lolling of women
looking to highlight a day
with a splash of radish
or the dull green of kale
and a small bouquet of blue asters.
And now, I miss your arm, your hand.
Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County, California, and works in mental health. He has contributed to Tar River Poetry Review, Williwaw Journal, Heartwood, and Sheila-na-Gig.