Gleaning Buckeyes—by Barbara D. Holender

Gleaning Buckeyes
Barbara D. Holender

Pay no attention to that gray-haired woman
kicking around under the chestnut trees.
She has been gleaning buckeyes
fifty years from these same trees
on this same campus,
sorting the squirrels’ leavings,
stomping them from their burrs.
How they gleam–the good grain
spreading from the stem scars
five, six shades of wood.

Nevermind the children are long grown,
the grandkids past these outings.
She is the schoolgirl ever Octobering,
glossing her harvest with remembering thumbs.

But whose crabbed hands are these
cramming the pockets of her life?