Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Great Pumpkins

It's getting closer to Halloween
and now is the time to pick your pumpkins.
They say the crop is especially good this year-
and after a trip to the pumpkin farm last week,
I tend to agree.

Rows and rows of the orange globes
lined up to audition for the part
of my Jack-O-Lanterns!
I armed myself with a clipboard and eyeglasses-
deciding to be a very discriminating judge.

Some were too big, others too small.
Some cockeyed and clumsy-
others a bit too flat-headed.
A few were even missing stems.

They whispered "Pick me" as I passed each row,
rolling my harvest wagon behind me-
eager to snatch up only the best specimens
to display on my front porch.
Each one tried to convince me that
they were going to be easy to carve,
would look great with a toothless smile,
and weren't afraid of open flames.

I felt sorry for the ugly ones.
They were a type of
melon/squash/pumpkin hybrid
with coral-colored skin
that looked like festered blisters.
None of them could sit up straight
and all of them looked lazy.
How could they possibly expect
to go home in my cart?

Yet, I was drawn to them-
an attraction of curiosity, I suppose-
like wanting to see the latest monster movie.

But I continued my star search with confidence-
positive the special ones were out there-
perhaps hiding behind the gourd wagon
or posing with the mums.

I eventually snatched up two perfect pumpkins-
and I could have sworn they smiled
when I placed them into the wagon.
(Now- if they would only do that
when I got them home!)

The runners-up I selected were suitable
for simply standing next to the corn stalks,
gracing the picnic table,
or filling in for a missing door stop.

My afternoon at the pumpkin farm
had been a good session for us all.
I ended up with some fantastic fall decor-
and the pumpkins ended up with a job
and a new home for awhile.

And, the best part is,
that even when their season is over-
they will live on.
Their seeds will grow
and thrive next year in the compost pile,
creating new life -
and continuing the cycle of natural existence.

So, don't be sad.

I must prep them for their performance!
I must require that they
put their best faces forward!
And, too, I must remind them
that even though they may be missing teeth,
(nostrils, ears, chins,
eyebrows, tongues, and hair-)
they are my Great Pumpkins.

And I will enjoy them and love them
till the light inside their hearts
melts into a dying stub
and their flame is
extinguished forever...