Why Would You Want To Move 3,003 Miles to Vermont?
Someone had to ask.
From a place as perfect as Oregon.
Yes, I know about Lyme’s disease,
shots for dogs but not for people,
the yuck pinch-it blood-swell of ticks.
Cold clamps bitter, unrelenting, certain.
They say Vermont has four seasons: freezing
to start, thaw to mud, then bugs,
and leaves that draw peepers up north
in mini-vans that clog the freeways.
Left coast to join lefties on the east side.
Feel the Bern. First state to legalize
gay marriage. The legislature says yes
to marijuana. First ski lift. Ethan Allen
had the gall to attack Montreal.
I know trees and woods. I’ve seen maple
in pipelines, creamees, bacon and cotton candy.
Let me sniff steam in the maple sugar shack.
Let me see the tom with his turkey harem
high-stepping over browned-out pasture.
Or hear the loons moan and trill at Noyes Pond.
Watch the males offer red eyes to the girls.
As for sub-zero’s, I’ll get stoves,
fleeces, flannel, down, and duvets.
As snow tiptoes in on wind, awe
is rain turned to crystal. Rain to skate on.
I can wrap up with poems
of the palace women of China,
Rilke, Szymborska, a library lugged
from Stafford to Frost.
I can migrate from Tillamook
to Cabot cheddar cheese. I believe
in creatures of the deep, Champ.
Vermont is where my daughter is. The girl
who brought home the first deer of the season
while the men went up north to deer camp.
She tagged unblemished road kill,
freshest deer the butcher ever skinned.
Buying On-Line With Help from Li Po of the Tang Dynasty
Picking arch supports on the web
makes little sense, you have to wed
your shoe with how you plant your foot.
Socks with stripes is a staple
home delivery. Dresses I’ve bought fit
my image of myself from ten years ago.
Socks are safe. Especially purple and blue.
A doorbell rings. The terrier fires
automatic hysteria at the man
who carries up the fermentation crock
with instructions in French for sauerkraut.
The next day the Amazon woman hands me
a used book in bubble wrap,
selected poems by Li Po
how did I get so like a withered tree?
All well and good for last minute
gifts, lambskin for the newborn,
a gravy ladle for the first-year bride
delivered on Veteran’s Day
in time for Thanksgiving.
I so desire to give you that gift hidden
by the distance to the Heavens.
Now I’m trying to buy a house.
A Vermont farmhouse built in 1850.
After the ancients.
Stone foundation covered with concrete.
No slide show pictures of the bathrooms
or the basement that leaks
when snow melts. Three sump pumps.
A carriage-house barn,
two elderly apple trees,
and a pergola with grapes
I won’t taste for seven months.
Like arch supports, I have to go,
try it on, wiggle my toes in old shag,
hope for the best over the long walk
through this last home and tiptoe
to where the sun sneaks up
through leaking kitchen windows.
Try climbing the sky!
Tricia Knoll recently moved from Oregon to Vermont, a distance of 3,003 miles as some bird would fly if it wanted to. She had much to leave behind and more to greet. Her work appears widely in journals and anthologies; her most recent collection How I Learned To Be White received the 2018 Indie Book Award for Motivational Poetry. Website: triciaknoll.com