I love college football and good food and friendly people. I wrote this poem back in September 2006, about a month before the previous poem in the series, “Cycle,” and it is about those three things. There are no archetypal messages here, no deep hidden meanings— just a moment in time and a semi-pensive reflection of it.
Curb Market, Saturday Morning
The colors are bursting, all laid out
in long dark-green booths, a breeze
blows on a cool late-summer morning.
I’ll take a bag of those rutabagas—
When I say it, he smiles at me: I’m so glad
you know what those are. Everybody else
thought that was cheese! And we both
laugh out loud.
Fall begins next week, and LSU tailgaters
have filled up the nearby lots with their hulking
RVs. I think they must know to park right
by the Curb Market, so they can wake up
and walk over to choose from swollen
green bell peppers, homemade yeast rolls,
saran-wrapped pies made by wrinkled women,
waxy yellow squash, flapping turnip greens,
glossy deep-purple eggplant, majestic heads
of cabbage, bright red preserves in little jelly
jars, budding mums of green, purple and gold,
ivy crawling out of little plastic pots, fresh-cut
flowers . . . who knows what these folks
are looking for.
What I do know they’re looking for is for
their team to beat ours— but it’s nothing
personal, no more than that old guy and me
having a laugh about how those fools thought
rutabagas were cheese.