In These Hills

There’s sap in these hills,

the sugar maples

just beginning to run.

The farmers have them hooked

up with plastic tubing

so it looks like the trees

are giving blood or worse,

stuck on life support.

They get so cranky

these farmers for

the two or so weeks

while the run lasts –

twenty hour days

boiling it all down.

I’m not sure what they’d get

if they boiled me down,

but I know it would not be

anything near as good

as maple syrup.

10 thoughts on “In These Hills

  1. Hi, Richard,
    we love maple syrup. When we lived in Vermont we were mapeling there, going with horse drawn sledges in the woods, collecting the sap and boiled it.
    Thanks for sharing
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Nectar it is. I like the glimpse of the cranky farmers burning the midnight oil to distill it! When I lived in Chapel Hill and Raleigh I heard of the natives in the mountains cooking up apple butter during the season in large pots over open fires. Wish I could’ve seen it. You’ve mentioned Olson here. I regret not visiting Black Mountain when I lived in NC, but I cherish memory of a reading by Creely and Gregory Corso I attended at UNC. Corso read his “Should I Get Married” poem, and I was over-impressed by his mention of “pee-stained underwear.” (I was young!)

    1. I was fortunate to attend three readings by the one eyed master Creely,… So unpretentious, it challenges me to this day. His poetics of the commonplace guide what I attempt to do here.

      1. Check my recollection: In grad school I long carried around a paperback anthology — “The Voice That Is Great Within Us.” I think the selection of contemporary poems was Creely’s. He and Corso murdered a jug of Gallo Hearty Red during the reading I attended! The memories. Thanks for your voice, by the way.

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