Drive up Route 7 and you can find
Shute’s Pumpkin and Squash Stand
where we buy Autumn Crown,
Honeynut, and Long Island Cheese
squash. Maybe even Hubbard.
Once I grew Hubbards, their fat
bodies swollen beneath mottled leaves.
I’d put them on a shelf in the cold
closet or in basement boxes full
of crumpled newspapers, save them
for last, because they were so hard
to cut. I’d carry them up, haul them
away from the thumping wood
furnace, put them into a bowl
of light on the kitchen table. Days
like that are only dreams now,
something I conjure up as I press
a knife to tough skin. Keep the door
closed. Keep the windows shut.
It’s finally raining. Watch the sea
rise. So many needles have fallen
this year. Drought or global warming?
You can’t be casual with a Hubbard.
Make your first slice close
to the neck, hope for tenderness.
published in West Trestle Review, Sept/Oct 2022