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 is the author of the essay collection, Kindness Will Save the World, and editor of several bestselling poetry anthologies: Healing the Divide, The Path to Kindness, How to Love the World, and The Wonder of Small Things. He has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, People Magazine, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post. He is the author of four prize-winning books of poetry: The Book of What StaysTelling My FatherBluebird, and Every Waking Moment, and his poems have appeared in the New York Times MagazinePloughsharesThe New Republic, and Prairie Schooner. James lives with his husband on forty rocky acres in the woods of Southern Vermont. For more information, visit: jamescrews.net.