Mason Jars by Arlin Buyert
Sometime in May,
when frost had been warmed,
King and Kernel pulled the disc, again and again,
over our half-acre garden plot
pitched between our farm house and the orchard.
Wood stakes, sledged down by Dad,
harnessed by taut twine that shadowed
straight rows thirty-six inches apart
planted with beets, carrots, sweet corn, green beans
and tomatoes imprisoned in tall hog-wire cages.
Later in August,
apples falling, tomatoes red,
corn tassels dusting down the silk,
beets and carrots toiling in the soil with purpose,
all direct Mom to boil five-hundred quart jars
in preparation for the holy ritual of harvest.
Beets and their dirt partners are boiled,
sliced and carefully spooned through a funnel
perched atop an eager jar. We listened
to their popping lids into the moonlight
as the jars awaited their return to our earthen cellar
where they rested on wood shelves until suppertime