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Eric Darby
Poet
Syracuse is a rare city: farmland and its products are easily accessible from the urban center and even easier on Saturday mornings at the Farmer’s Market. Having also lived in Detroit and Boston, I appreciated this access when I moved to Syracuse. Growing up in rural Maine, my family maintained a large garden, and we grew most of our own vegetables in the summer. My mom canned and preserved, and in Syracuse I started doing it myself, and rediscovered those skills.

I respond better to poetry that is (pardon the pun) rooted in strong images, and I think my own writing is stronger when it is image-based, so the image of canned produce felt like a natural way to discuss season—which is integral to haiku—and also the idea of work, and the endurance of work in the literal act of preservation.

More succinctly stated: the inspiration was already on my kitchen counter!

Canning peaches, corn,
apples, kale — filling glass jars
with soil, rain, and work.

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