I finally got around to visiting the farmer’s market in this small town I live in one Saturday morning. The truth was that I was just introduced to the sweet Saskatoon berry and was hoping to find a Saskatoon pie for sale. I must have betrayed my emotions because the pie lady questioned my smile when she handed me what I was looking for.
I was here for the pie and for some fruits and vegetables. I bought some beans from a woman in traditional country dress, but there must have been something strange in my face or bearing, for she scooped up fallen beans surrounding the packaged ones:
the Mennonite woman throws in
extra string beans
The market held other surprises than the pie. A New Agey woman had a number of bead necklaces and other trinkets on display but became more talkative when I told her I knew what a sage bundle was. Also, a Head Shop owner had all kinds of incense and oriental statues for sale. I couldn’t resist one of those statues:
little jade Buddha
each upstretched open palm
with a pearl
At another table were all kinds of natural remedies packaged like the items in one of those mall chain drug outlets. The proprietor looked like a washed-out real estate cowboy and began to hustle me when I showed interest in one item:
asthma tea packet
“You can throw your puff away!”
As if this weren’t enough I got into a somewhat uncomfortable discussion with the people at the animal rights display table. Granted I was overwhelmed with happiness to find such a group in our town. And granted I was somewhat of a purist when it comes to compassion for animals. Nonetheless l was stopped in my tracks by what one of them wanted. With a placid smile she asked me to sign a petition for cat euthanasia. I promised to attend one of their meetings but didn’t sign.
So, I returned home with the Saskatoon pie, lots of fruits and vegetables, some Austrian pastery, and the little jade Buddha. It was time to put things away:
the curved ridge of bumps
on a string bean