Alan: Many years ago, Nancy asked which of two small water colors of Joyce’s I most wanted, and of course I wanted them both. They have hung side by side ever since, the same scene viewed twice, a few minutes apart.
For Joyce Morrell
The fields rise up. It is getting late, a few minutes to one side or the
other of sunset. The sun behind clouds, the clouds spilling along the
The fields rise up, the color of cranberry juice on slate, of spent summers
rising softly to swallow trees, sky,
and the trees (they are spruces) wait in patient black, spreading their
arms alone or in small, quiet clusters.
The fields rise up and the sky sinks, slipping away with the sun, back,
beyond, sliding behind clouds, the clouds riding the sun or where the
sun has until just now been,
and the sun sinks, is gone, or almost gone, hidden in cochineal velvet,
in folds of cobalt rimmed in gold and in straw.
The fields rise up, softly. Soon there will be stars, already may be stars
behind us, but the spruces stand in front, and the spruces are the shadows
the fields cast on the night.
Nancy: Dandelion greens. Our family ate them wilted with hot vinegar. I ate them only under duress and to this day the thought of them puckers my mouth.
There are no greens in the woods, Granny –
which way is home?
My knife is dull, my basket full –
it must be time to go home, Granny.
Star light star bright, it’s dark in the woods –
at home they’re lighting the lamps –
The air is chill and the birds are still
and we’ve walked too far –
do you know where we are?
Have you lost the track?
Can’t we go back?
There is no spring in the woods,
it’s time to go home.