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Tricia Knoll




As though regret

were not a waste

but a basket

loosely woven

passed from pew

to pew for fingers

to drop in bits

to support

a greater good.  


As though regret

was a sieve 

for catching pith

and pulp of oranges

to let juice

rain through. 


As wine settled,

aged in oak


the fitter drink. 




Three Scarecrows


“Not grasping the autumn evening, 

   the scarecrow” -- Issa


Assembled on a cross,

he was taller than the gardener

who slid a plastic red rose in his denim lapel

sunglasses on his triangle nose.

A mother nursed her baby

in his August shadow.


Corn now willy-nilly

slumped to rains, he’s tucked

in a box for winter.

Loneliness settles a thin fog

on his community garden


Matilda, a store dummy in red and white plaids

and jeans tight on long, long legs

spent summer waving an American flag

caught in her sun bonnet shading

a red lipstick smile that never wavered.

She is gone like the red and orange dahlias

that danced at her cowgirl boots all summer,

her creator pulled her down

for a glow-in-the dark plastic skeleton,

gold maple leaves at its toe bones. 


One scarecrow still banishes caws and crackles

to the hindmost bog. The cranberry farmer

shot a crow from a wicker chair on his porch,

tied it upside down to cross-bars on the deer fence 

around his corn – all-winter grim 

warning flapping 

until it’s time

to till again. 




A Blessing Over Fruit


October is long past ripeness. Where we walk,

the dog and I, we see the fallen

figs smashed by car treads,

Italian plums like dead bats on sidewalks,

dried up canes of July raspberries. By the hundreds

dropped on lawns, apples dotted with dark spots 

of coddling moth worms.


My dog does not know end to a season. She reaches out

for dried-out blackberry husks, even ones with mold.

Yesterday she grabbed a mouthful of salal berries 

as if jammed in her white teeth they might taste like jelly.


I try to tell her we have had this blessing. We have moved on.

I ate red grapes. I drooled over peaches and gushed red plums

dripping down my chin. That all will be well,

we will be fed, she may joy in a snowball. 


She has a very flamboyant tail, this farm dog,

and she ignores my advice like a flag-waving fool.

Her nose seeks hard-green kiwis, persimmons 

that await first frosts to ripen. 


I kick scarlet, yellow and orange leaves

as though they are gold candles, 

sheriff’s badges and tangerine peels. 

three scarecrows
a blessing over fruit
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