Reflecting Pool

Logo design by Sharon Gresk; photo by Susan Barlow

by Coryn Clark, October 16, 2020

I am watching the chipmunk watching me
as I shell beans on the back step,
me sitting in the shortest path to her den,
an unwelcome obstacle,
(and does she know it was me
who tried to evict her this summer by filling her tunnel?)
the chipmunk’s cheeks so full she can barely
squeeze into the crack between the patio stones
after dashing a desperate detour
in the second I look away,
shimmying her hips through the crevice,
a she, naturally,
because females stretch their bodies impossibly
to carry food and grow babies.
I am cracking open crisp purple husks and pinging
the black beans, shiny as obsidian,
into a stainless steel bowl,
my harvest, stocking up for winter
and saving some for next spring’s planting,
a closing and an opening
as I look ahead to the coming year,
and the chipmunk, also, storing seeds
beneath the patio, so assured she will live
to birth more pups in the spring.
In this strangest of years, for a moment,
we can share this earthly cycle
of gathering, storing, blessing, hoping.


For a welcome and instructions on submitting original writing to Reflecting Pool, click here.