Someone showed me how to pluck buds sprouted in our lawn, how to open them and eat the sour green. That spring we called them pickles and foraged the neighborhood for more, tasting whatever grew in backyards and empty lots.
Once I stopped stripping nails and cuticle with my teeth, my fingers wanted wild work. Milkweed pods rattled open on the back fence and I blew the silken seeds into August, chased my son running away on chubby legs with handfuls of floss.
Have you heard lately the wet way a pomegranate breaks open? How a thumbnail pushed hard into the husk reveals corpuscles, the jewel organs inside. In fall when pumpkin distracts us with its showy bright size, there are these tight purses, too, puckered at one end, hiding red and red, each seed cushioned in juice and plush.
Here’s an icicle snapped off clean in my hands from the eaves, January frozen solid. I use it to gouge whatever still grows in the cold, a dowsing wand leading toward a rustle of life. The shade-loving hosta, for example, flowers and produces pods after blooms fall from the stems, ripe when they turn brown and start to split open, ready to release the seeds.
Lori Brack's book of poems, Museum Made of Breath, was published by Spartan Press, Kansas City, in 2018. Her poems and essays have appeared in journals including Another Chicago Magazine, North American Review, Mid-American Review, The Fourth River, Superstition Review, Entropy Magazine, and others. Brack lives in Kansas where she manages a project dedicated to the professional development of artists, writers, and performers, and works for a collaborative pilot project linking museum education and public school students.