Autumn’s Favor

Chili Ristra

Come autumn, Mom couldn’t pass up
a roadside farm stand.
She had to stop, shop, buy.
The bright array of produce
– juicy apples
– plump pumpkins
– piquant chili peppers
– green and yellow squash
and more,
much better than any store.

Vibrant color,
mixed aromas of melons,
dirt from the field,
sawn wood of newly built
display stands, wobbly
yet able to bear the weight
of succulent bounty.
It made Mom grin,
and drew her in.

Chilly shopping in the open air.
Backdrop of plowed fields,
trees turning golden,
dropping leaves like confetti,
ristras glistening in the sun,
peppery red and lush,
green chilies turning in barrels
drenching the air
with the bouquet of fall,
a seasonal signal of winter’s call.

Good food
from the good earth,
to make into enchiladas,
tacos, rellanos,
beans with chicos,
cornbread sprinkled with chili
and kernels of fresh corn.
The kitchen a place of comfort
where love settled in every nook
and came in waves from the cook.

Autumn’s favor comes
in memories
of home, warmed by
the heat of an oven
baking a surprise
fresh from the field.
Memories interwoven with time,
a yearning to go back
and see my mother’s smile,
if only for a little while.

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Image: clipart.com

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