Friday, November 26, 2010

A Very Lettuce Thanksgiving

Lettuce growing in low tunnels covered in plastic, with Christmas lights to warm the tunnel on cold, cold nights.
By Sandra M. Siebert
‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving and our little house
Had been cleaned top to bottom by me and my spouse.
We’d washed all the windows and shook out the rugs,
Dusted the corners and vacuumed up bugs.
All in preparation for feasting day guests.
Even the garden had been specially dressed,
Draped with plastic and hung with lights on a wire,
And blanketed with hay (I hope it doesn’t catch fire).
All to keep warm our lovely green lettuce beds,
As visions of winter salads danced in our heads.
Exhausted by the work we went off to our rest,
So cozy and snug in our little nest
As the wind howled and the temperature fell deep.
Then all too soon I was abruptly shaken from sleep…
“The plastic’s all torn and flapping about,”
My spouse announced in almost a shout.
“But it’s only 1 a.m.,” I loudly uttered,
This perky red romaine survived
 in the low tunnel with no lights to warm it,
Then threw back the covers and angrily muttered.
I pulled on some clothes worn the day before;
Grabbed coat and boots and stormed out the door.
The sky was so clear and the stars they shone bright,
A large gibbous moon gave us plenty of light.
The plastic wasn’t torn, just pulled loose from is mooring
By the gale that blew as we were happily snoring.
I took a long peek at the lettuce inside.
It was wilted and frozen, I was sure it had died.
We put back the cover and anchored it firmly with stones,
Then went back to bed with a chill in our bones.
Buttercrunch and green salad bowl.
Feasting day came, as did the guests and their bounty.
It must have been the best feast in the county.
The tables were laden with turkey and dressing,
Sweet potatoes and green beans; then after the blessing,
We all laughed and ate and got stuffed to our eyes.
Then there were brownies and cookies and, of course, pumpkin pies.
Thirty guests had come, as well as a surprise one or two,
And the hours of Thanksgiving Day really flew.
I gave our poor frozen lettuce no more thought
Until the next day, when I felt that I ought
To go out and see how it and other things had fared.
Had it been killed by the cold or had it been spared?
As I lifted the plastic what did my eyes behold?
But lovely lettuce, perky and laughing at the cold.
I shook my head in utter disbelief,
Then laughed, in spite of myself, in great relief.
The old winter sun shone warm and bright
As I went back to the house, my heart full and light.
Lettuce today and tomorrow as well,
With spinach and arugula and a story to tell.
So lettuce give thanks (please pardon the pun)
For blessings large and small, every one,
For family and friends and gardens to grow things,
Children and grandchildren who like playing on swings,
For spouses willing to go into cold winter nights
To save the salad and to plug in the lights,
For all of these things that make life so sweet,
For all of the guests that make the gathering complete.
With this one last wish I will close,
May all of your feast days be full of good cheer,
And may love, laughter and lettuce last all through the year.
Green romaine and red salad bowl.

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