for my friend Wil and other folks I know...
At the Farmer’s Market
At the farmer’s market, women ply their wares,
fruits of their labors — bread, honey, homemade soap, flowers.
Some days a profit made, some days not,
yet they cannot cease their artistry.
Producing goods for others lets them keep some for themselves —
the money plowed back into fertile ground to grow more tomatoes,
to raise more chickens, goats and bees.
Some domestic art stays at home,
stocking their sweet-scented larders,
feeding their families and friends,
communities knitted together with the wool spun from each woman’s spinning wheel.
At the farmer’s market, money changes hands for goods both dry and wet.
More is exchanged in each transaction that denies measurement —
friendly conversation, swapped recipes,
a tonic for an ailing plant, a remedy for a teething child;
a generous dollop of the golden butter of women’s lives.
Fat is skimmed carefully from the milk of life,
churned hard, early upon rising and throughout morning, and night.
The rhythmic splashing sound changes to the thump and beat of paddles
on creamy white butter, made pure through living every day,
turning golden in the light of each woman’s radiant soul.
At the farmer’s market, Lin sells green plants raised in her yard;
the salt of the earth nurturing life.
Chris and Cindy market breads and cakes, sausage and chickens;
Cindy’s tangy heart flavoring herbed vinegars;
Chris’s caring soul scenting the air like the spicy aroma of rosemary loaves.
Jan, of natural golden curls with the soul of an artist, stops to smile,
trading in conversation and good will.
Rachel displays honey, soap, baskets, and three young daughters;
Celine loves flower fairies;
Phoebe delights in the touch of cake before the taste.
Infant Josie, one day old when she first came to the farmer’s market,
is a priceless gift to each woman who stops by Rachel’s stall.
At the farmer’s market, women are the taste and texture of life.
Clothed in life’s earthen glory,
each woman is a bright lily bursting forth from soil and stem to astonish and delight.
© Kit Minden