I took this photo of my Italian Honey figs last Sunday. I've been selling them and other, smaller figs since early August to Chatham Marketplace, our co-op in Pittsboro, N.C. Sadly, Tuesday, last week, August 30, the next door dogs both died, Lucky, born in late 1999 and Spud, born about August 1, 2002, the same age as Wag. I was especially attached to Lucky and wrote a poem for him back in 2002, by my creek.
THE SPILL OF THE BLUE-GRAY LIGHT 2 By Century Creek
For Lucky, the dog next door
December 16, 2001
but not to reach roots below grass level.
Still no berries on the holly, but clean air,
trees calm, quiescent, while they wait for
winter rain. We will take what we can get,
but we long for days of hard, steady rain
soaking through all the layers to the water
table, bringing the lake up to the trees at its edge,
brightening the forest greens, preparing frogs
and bulbs for spring.
The dog lies in my arms,
declares for the thousandth time that he is
my dog. Okay, Lucky, creek bank muse,
faithful when my faith wavers, I choose you
since you choose me. May you live a long life,
full of dog joys.
I do not think about my age
any more than a tree would. I’ve adapted to the
increasing crotchets age brings, but I work as
steadily as ever. The main change in recent years:
I rest more and worry less. And I have riches
I couldn’t have counted on, much less aimed for:
enough money, a good house, land, trees, a creek,
a garden, and an orchard. Chickens, if I choose.
I have a dog named Lucky who chose me, and
Emma declares when we sit in the vet’s office
that I’m his co-owner. Lucky, lying in my lap
beside the creek, promises she’s right, that he has
been my dog for the two years it took me to figure
I’m like this tulip tree that anchors the creek
bank and houses small mammals, hosts pools
of water even in drought, over a hundred feet
in the air now, confident that the new season will
replenish what the old season took away.
And who will love me of the two-footed species,
man to woman? They cast their shadows on my life
but approach no nearer to the dragon woman who
lives by a creek. Maybe Lucky is a messenger
of some as yet unwashed-up Odysseus. In my lucky
grab bag perhaps there is one more surprise,
another richness added to my bounty, a new kith
added to what is now my circle of known and loved
kith and kin.