Syrup Season by Coleman Glenn

Syrup Season

Tromping through the sugar bush,
you reach the sugar shack,
where maple vapors, sugar-sweet,
seep out from every crack.

Within, your uncles, bleary-eyed,
are chatting man to man,
their fingers scorched from siphoning
hot sap from pan to pan.

On seeing you, they place a pail
and let the nectar flow
to fill the metal bucket
with an earthy amber glow.

A tea towel tops it to protect
the priceless stuff inside.
You’ve reached the age: you take the pail,
and try to almost glide

as carefully, so carefully
you tread the houseward way:
a muddy trail where last night’s snow
melts into slush today.

400 meters, give or take.
It never felt so long.
Too slow, and things will get too cold;
too fast, with one foot wrong

you’ll spill a hundred dollars’ worth
of syrup in the slurry
of almost-springtime forest muck.
So, gingerly you hurry,

and reach the door, then up the stairs,
to Nana in the kitchen
beside her boiling pots, who pours
your syrup, pure and rich, in.

The house is bright and rowdy, filled
with more than it can hold.
You’ll let the syrup cool a bit,
then bottle liquid gold.

by Coleman Glenn

Twitter: @colemanglenn

Editor’s Note: This poem’s effortless rhyme tells the story of childhood sweetness with an innocence and joy every reader can appreciate.


4 responses to “Syrup Season by Coleman Glenn”

  1. Ron. Avatar

    Even though many (most) such operations up here in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom (unofficial maple syrup capitol of the world) is considerably more modernized, mechanized, and even computerized, almost as many still employ such valuable hand-labors. Thanks for sharing!
    I thought you might like this:

  2. Ralph La Rosa Avatar
    Ralph La Rosa

    Wonderful poem, Coleman! I especially like that rhyme of kitchen/rich, in. How sweet it is!

  3. […] new poem, “Syrup Season,” was published on March 2nd on the (always worth reading) Autumn Sky Poetry […]

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