I know it’s summer when we wade out
into the field and pick these crisp wonders,
tiny cucumbers bleached of their green
as if they’ve already seen too much
of this dazzling light, and can take no more.
We eat them sprinkled with salt and pepper,
as their name suggests, crunching through
flesh so sweet it’s like that of a melon.
I’ve never seen them for sale in grocery stores,
but they grow here in this soil out of which
my husband could coax almost anything
with his sure touch and sharp attention.
He snaps them from stems with flowers still
shriveled at the ends, then hands them to me
like the gifts they are, and I take each one
into the bowl of my hands, a wandering monk
finally at home among rolling mountains
swaddled in trees, and stones heaved up
as round as eggs from sandy loam. So much
already alive between us, so many blessings
threading our days like the gold of sun,
yet here I stand, holding this bounty,
begging for more.

Posted by kind permission of the poet. All rights reserved.

We are delighted and grateful that award-winning poet James Crews participated in our symposium: Radical Aliveness and Belonging: Exploring the Intersections of Spirituality and Social Change which took place on September 27, 2019,

James Crews

James Crews

About the author
James Crews’ work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Sun Magazine, Ploughshares, and The New Republic, as well as on Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry newspaper column. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PhD in Writing & Literature from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and is the author of four collections of award-winning poetry, including The Book of What Stays (Prairie Schooner Prize and Foreword Book of the Year Citation, 2011), Telling My Father(Cowles Prize, 2017), Bluebird, and Every Waking Moment. He is also the editor of several anthologies of poetry: Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection; and How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope. He leads Mindfulness & Writing retreats online and throughout the country, and works as a creative coach with groups and individuals. He lives with his husband, Brad Peacock, in Shaftsbury, Vermont.