Poem: P-Day at the Sugar Shack

By Dayna Patterson


This day brims with

too much sweetness.


The maple syrup, liquid gold

we’ve poured into pea soup

and red Kool-Aid, over beans,

flapjacks, and sausage links.


We are the only patrons in this

cabáne a sucre made to hold

a hundred.  We crowd one table.

Our hosts watch curiously.  Our voices

drift up, wraith-like, to the rafters.


Outside, troughs full of fallen snow

flank the sugar shack.  We tip our

warm mugs of syrup over the snow

and twist popsicle sticks in the cooling

sugar to make maple suckers.


Our blood buzzes.

The woods of bare sugar maples

buzz with our laughter.


Buckets hang from the trees,

collecting. Others are connected

by thin purple tubes, reverse

IVs.  After the sap is boiled down,

it will be served to the next guests.


Our vespertine shadows grow,

interlock with lengths of looming woods

and their woven shadows.

Our heavy boots press into the dark earth, wet

leaves, and dying snow.


The frozen ground is thawing,

turning to dark mud.  The coldest

winter of our lives is unlocking.