A Short Haggadah for Tu BiShvat
New Tu BiShvat tune from Nava Tehila

A Tu BiShvat mother poem for Big Tent Poetry: Taste and See






Next winter when you can walk
we'll make our way into the woods
at the edge of our land, trees webbed
with plastic tubing, clear
and pale green against the snow.

We'll go down to the beaver dam, pond
punctuated with cattails, and
I'll show you the rounded buckets
galvanized tin bright
against the grizzled trunks.

Dip a finger beneath the living spigot:
what drips is thin, almost tasteless, but
at every sugar shack across these hills
clouds of fragrant steam billow.
And after long boiling, this amber...

Where I grew up, the air is soft
already, impatiens and begonias thinking
about blooming. In these hills
as this winter moon waxes, this
is what rises, hidden and sweet.

This week's prompt at Big Tent Poetry invites us to write a poem about food. If you follow the Jewish seasonal calendar, and/or if you've been paying attention to recent posts here, you know that this week holds Tu BiShvat, the Jewish New Year of the Trees, which I will celebrate tomorrow by eating the fruits of many kinds of trees, from the etrog to the maple -- the subject of this poem.

The title is a reference to Psalm 34, verse 8: "Taste and see that God is good."

I haven't formally been writing mother poems since I finished a full year's worth of them at the end of November. I've been polishing and revising those poems into a manuscript, tentatively titled Waiting to Unfold, which I hope will see print someday! But this poem wound up being addressed to Drew, so I'm filing it as a mother poem even though it doesn't fit into that nascent collection.

I'll edit this post on Friday to include a link to this week's Come One, Come All post so you can see what others wrote in response to the prompt. Until then (and after then, too!) I welcome whatever response this poem calls forth from you!