Friday, June 24, 2011


two pickles
in a mason jar --
Shenandoah dill,
grass-green and crisp;
wrinkled viridian jewels
clear through
the closed door
of the refrigerator.
no side dishes, these;
rather, transcendent

bonnes bouches of brine --
each a petite paean
to halcyon summer.
one week ago,
the jar was full --
gift from a friend’s kitchen;
the work of her loving hands.
in the time since,
my wife and i
(with childish grins
and dripping chins)
have savored each one so fully
as to have numbered and named them
with our delight;
thanks-praying for these benisons
(as dear to us as fleeting youth) and
repenting our reckless pickle lust
even as we reached
with giggling, guilty fingers
for another …
one week ago,
the jar was full;
one week ago
the vibrant,
extraordinary young woman who
blessed us with
sunshine from a crock
was at our door --
news of her passing.
incomprehensible, really,
that two pickles
in a mason jar
could be
all that remains --
the only tangible remnant
of her sweetness
in our life;
it is
so inexpressibly cruel
for the line between
here and gone
to be so fine,
the parting
so sudden.
here in our kitchen,
i stand in my bathrobe
feeling a chill
clear through
the closed door
of the refrigerator.
one week ago,
i would not have believed:
i open the refrigerator door
just to stare at
two pickles
in a mason jar
(two perfect, beryl lobes);
open the door,
hold my breath
and pray --
hoping against hope
that i will see them begin
to beat.

About Rich Follett:
Rich Follett has recently returned to writing poetry after a thirty-year hiatus. He lives in the sacred and timeless Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where he joyfully teaches English and Theatre Arts for high school students. His poems have appeared in Paraphilia, Exercise Bowler, Calliope Nerve, Sugar Mule, Four Branches Press and Counterexample Poetics, for which he is a Featured Artist. He is the co-author of Responsorials (with Constance Stadler) and the solo collection Silence, Inhabited for NeoPoiesis Press.

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