"It Is Time" on The Writer's Almanac

It Is Time
by Laura Davies Foley

It is time to gather sticks of wood
so we can cook the sap that we have drawn from the earth.
We will bore holes into the maple trees,
collect buckets, stir the froth as it boils.
Then we’ll finish it on the stove in the barn.
We will do this together,
balancing the heavy iron vat,
pouring the hot syrup,
tasting the sweetness.
We did it through the pregnancies, the births.
Let’s do it once again.
And then we will cultivate the honey bees
and tend to the alfalfa in the fields.
It will be the best of times once more,
fourteen loads of fresh hay,
and my hair will be long and we will collect raspberries,
and make a pie.
The garden will yield a bumper crop of beets and basil,
and we will split wood all fall,
and stack it,
and be ready for the winter,
when you will weave a blanket on your loom
with dog hair and horse hair and my hair
and some dyed wool too.
And I will nurse the babies by the fire,
and neither of us will grow older,
and we will never forget,
and nothing will ever die.
We need to gather sticks now
and build a fire quickly,
before the season passes on,
before the field,
where you are sleeping,


“It Is Time” by Laura Davies Foley from Mapping the Fourth Dimension. © Harbor Mountain Press, 2006. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)