Late Gifts

By Valerie L. Egar

As published in: The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review

Their extravagant size caught our eyes,

pine cones big as baby porcupines.

We’d seen them back east

in craft stores, florist shops,

several bucks each. Here,

the wealth lay in piles for free.

First, we said we’d take a few,

then, some for friends,

and more, until our hands

were sticky, the back seat

a prickly bed. The pine scent

turned an ordinary Tuesday

into Christmas, the car, a sleigh,

loaded with good will,

brimming with a harvest

we planned to give away.

Too dirty to carry in a suitcase,

too many to carry in a bag,

we scrounged a box

from a grocery and packed

them to mail, seeds dropping

on blue motel carpet:

thousands of seeds on blue pile,

Grandma and I laughing,

our hands tarred with evergreen seeds.