Poem information
Measuring snow



   For most of us the Celery Farm is a great to watch birds, go for walks and experience nature. Over the years, we have accumulated some great memories.

   But for Patricia Cooper, who grew up on the Bajor celery farm (where the tractor and butterfly garden are), it offers a whole different set of memories.

  She shared it with Marsh Warden Stiles Thomas, and then with me.

  She also provided the photos for this post.

   To read the poem, click "Continue reading..." 

     For information on how to get a copy, read the next post.


                   Layers of Memories
            A Walk Around the Celery Farm
                   By Patricia L. Cooper

For you, it is a field of weeds, and punks and flittering birds.
I see lettuce, celery and zucchini squash,
Straight rows of black dirt, stacked sash frames
Glittering in the sun.

For you, it is a path to a quaint old tractor
    And the Butterfly Garden.
I walk the path to Baba's barn,
Where bushels of tomatoes are sorted for market
    And Bessy the cow waits to be milked;

For you, cherry trees bloom in the spring and Foxes Run.
I see the path to Baba's house, uphill,
Past the barns and the greenhouse.

For you, it is a path crossing a brook,
    Blocked in by trees and high rushes.
I walk with a child's stride, the long path to Zabriskie's stream,
Where horses run in an open field.

For you, there is a path by a flowing stream,
    Tunneled by branches overhead.
I hear my mother’s memories of the celery packing plant,
    A large operation, bigger than the Bajor farm across the way,
    But they often worked together on the really large orders.
Sometimes I see square ponds glistening with little golden fish;
    A few escape and grow in to legends.

For you, and the geese, it is a wide stretch of open water,
    Viewing platforms, swans' nest, heron's feast.               
I tie my skates and hide my shoes in a secret place by the pump house,
    Weave through narrow ditches to reach the Big Ditch,
Where goldfish swim beneath clear black ice and
The ice cracks look a foot deep.
Winter's pond is where the big boys play hockey.

For you, there is a dark space and a punk filled mini swamp.
I see a still flowing stream, with fish and frogs,
A safe place to learn to skate.

For you, there is barking dog corner, a bend in the path.
I hear all the dogs of my childhood, and Mr. Jigs, a black and white
    Scamp who would visit for a scratch and a snack,
    But never stay with anyone.
He died from eating poison bait; it is his ghost you hear barking.

Bulrush sways
In a still June day
Redwing blackbird come,
And gone.

My path begins and ends at the Bajor Bench...

                               Cherish the Land.

copyright 2008 by Patricia L. Cooper, reprinted with permission