The Opposite of Hubbard Squash is Love

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