Black Walnuts

Black Walnuts

Yes, it’s a little silly,
the pleasure of seeing these blackened fingers,
these stains the closest that I,
a 21st century bit-jockey,
can come to the joy of growing something
on my own land, with the work of my own hands.

There’s a black walnut tree down by the creek.
It didn’t drop any nuts last year.
Perhaps it was waiting for me
to pay attention to it,
pull the vines off of it,
clear a little room for it to see the sky.

This year, it dropped hundreds of them.
The patter of them a little unnerving
as we sit down there in our tiny chip
of 1908 cherished amidst the noise
and bustle of 2008.

I peeled back the green skin,
and the juice ran over my hands,
staining them a deep umber
as it dripped from my knife,
revealing a black shell, hiding
some secret that I must work to discover,
even as we worked to unearth
this small clearing of paradise.

And now, I sit pecking at the keys,
back in my digital cave,
but with this stain still on my fingers
reminding me that two miles away
is our stand of black walnuts,
where we can again sit in silence,
listening to the harvest fall around us.