It’s Sunday at noon, and the open-air
vendors are planted in their usual spots — picklers
pressed against the outer edge while growers
forest the pathways with kale, collard greens,
and patches of lavender. The customers
weave in and out like bees around
the ambrosial samples of peaches,
honey, and strawberries, cheeses and jams
ready to be slathered on mountains of brown
bread. And suddenly

she emerges, carrying bags
of her belongings, dressed in layers
and wearing a ski cap someone probably
tossed after the season ended. We shift
uncomfortably, backing away,
all except for the small man selling apples.
He hands her a large slice of Ginger Gold,
and she completes the ritual with a bawdy
salute while, in her wake, the rest of us
self-consciously examine tomatoes
as if unable to understand the rows and rows
of vines, or how the carrot, unearthed,
achieves its certainty of sweetness.