“I swept my trampoline” (poem for a new home) (mine).


The first thing I did today was sweep my trampoline.

This house came with a trampoline. Two, actually. One small one

for porch jumps and one of those huge ones with netting

that many people got sometime in early high school

and then lots of people broke their arms. My neighbor had one

and so did one of my closest friends and we used to play

“Popcorn,” which is when one person sits on the trampoline

and the other person jumps, and the sitting person bounces

like a popping kernel. Or at least I think that’s how it went.


I swept my trampoline and then did many big jumps

in the center of it and some small running jumps around the perimeter

and then a lot of big jumps in the center again

until I was so tired I slipped out and back into my sandals.

I walked, a little breathless, up the slight hill, towards the shed,

touching the apple trees as I went, even the dead one. I looked

for peaches but didn’t find any. In the shed I found the hand trowel

I used later to wrestle horseradish from the ground. Horseradish!

really puts down roots. I dug and dug and found worms

and found the smell of Passover too, and finally gave up and pulled

so hard at the root that when it finally came out I was flung backwards

into the soft mulch. I laughed at myself and the birds kept on scuttling


on the ground. While I was trampoline-ing, Misha was preparing

for his first day of work. At a farm, of course! Well,

a farmstand. He’s going to sell vegetables and bring home

vegetables. I don’t start as a waitress until Saturday

and today I stayed home to make pickles, My First Pickles.

I had no idea what I was doing and my shorts were too short

when I went to go pick up supplies at the country store. Oh,

well. I bought lids and pickling salt and mustard seed

and a butter dish, for our Vermont butter. But before all this


I picked raspberries in the warm sun for a long time,

maybe two hours, I have no idea but I was singing

for most of it, little ditties like “Oh berries you are the gems

the thorny gemstones of the earth and you my little bees

are buzzing with the song of songs of singsong songs LA

About halfway through I spied two frogs to my right

on the shore of our pond, so I had to go over to see them

(I love frogs and always have), and one hopped away

immediately and the other one let me touch it but

when I touched it, it jumped into the water! Of course

it did. I am always trying to befriend the following creatures

that aren’t interested in my friendship: frogs, toads, chipmunks,

grasshoppers, and a cockatiel named Zeke (“Zeke the Beak”)

that we are currently birdsitting. And today I wanted to sit

on top of that damn bird because he sounded his alarm sound

all the damn day because he misses Misha and who the hell

am I, this girl yelling his name all highpitched, trying to be

the cool birdsitter. I got so frustrated with his loudness

that I thought about sticking him in our new dehydrator


but of course I would NEVER ACTUALLY DO THAT. In fact

this was just an excuse to talk about our new dehydrator

which arrived yesterday. It is the mob boss of all dehydrators.

It’s named The Excalibur and it is all black and huge

like a mobster vehicle and you can dehydrate so many fruits

in it at once it’s like a mass fruit juice removal program.

And before doing any of the other things I mentioned

today, what Misha and I did first was eat our first

apple chips and banana chips. But wait, back

to the pickled, the cucumbers. I sliced them

and stuffed them into jars that I boiled

in a pot you could fit two turkeys in and on top

of each jar I placed a piece of grape leaf, which

supposedly ensures pickle crispness. The whole process

took hours, I have no idea, I was so unaware

that when I was finished I noticed there was a package

on the porch that a human being had dropped off.
A human had been on the porch! There aren’t a lot

of human beings around here, and being human here

is the minority, the butterflies are fair and regal rulers

and the birds are busy at their games. With what was left

of cukes I mixed with overripe tomates and made gazpacho.

Now it’s an hour until Misha pulls into the driveway

and I’m drinking a beer and placing it on the table

that Scott and I built together. We named it

“The baby giraffe” because its legs are so long

and made of old stairway banisters, and if it walked

it would walk like a baby giraffe. People I love are all over


my house, but not all over the yard, where I’d like

them to be. Today I envisioned the music festival

we could throw on our property, and how people could bob

in the pond while listening to Dillon or Sean jam

acoustic. It’s strange that I’m not lonely yet, the grapes

outside keep feeding me and the tomatoes volunteer

themselves inside the greenhouse. I’m hoping hard

for visitors. I’m stocking all the shelves with food

in jars and waiting for the chilly drive to town

where I’ll pull up before the train arrives and jump

to see my friends or family getting off, their faces

not accustomed to the rundown railroad town,

but their faces full accustomed to the way

I greet them, yelling, pull them back into my home.


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