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First Farmers' Market After the Pandemic 

After the great silence, we come to the church
of blessing. On this sunny Sunday on the plaza,
we stream onto the sidewalks quiet and contrite.
We listen to the wisdom of the farmers
as they tell us of the past year—how much fell sick and died—how much had to be pruned back and burned,
if there was to be a harvest again. How long has it been
since we have seen so much bounty. Children dance around us, laughing, but we speak in whispers. One by one,
we arrive at the tables, take off our masks, and receive the sacraments:
the snapdragons,
sage sticks,
homemade tamales,
BBQed oysters, hot dogs, and fresh baked bread. We reach out our hands, stunned by the overflow
of cacti and sunflowers,
infused oils and artichokes,
homemade tamales and sun ripened peaches. We bow our heads before the woman who offers us local mead, receive the communion of goat cheese
on a cracker with a dollop of jalapeno jelly, forgiving us
all of the ways we failed ourselves
and one another. And then, as if reborn, we find ourselves swept up in the glory
of all that is offered, we hug
and offer back our own blessing
of laughter and tears, this unspoken overflowing of joy
after so much wandering alone in the desert.

Dave Holper

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David Holper

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