Friday, June 20, 2008

rhubarb



We cut down rhubarb at our friend’s house. It is a beautiful evening with a beautiful sky that promises myriad of possibilities: rain clouds set ablaze by the lowering sun. There could be rain; there could be a sunny but cool evening. Our friend hasn’t been able to get to her rhubarb patch, or her vegetable garden which still has some sea kale growing from last year. She is caring for her ailing but spritely 96 year-old-mother, and all the good intentions of planting seeds and starters has gone by like the lilacs and apple blossom. She did get a cover crop in her garden, so the earth can recharge for next year.

We cut back armfuls of her big exotic rhubarb with its big elephant ears, the red stems making you think of strawberries, and the leaves making you think of hot tropical evenings on a tea plantation somewhere far away like Burma or Ceylon... Our own rhubarb is still a small patch, a gift given by former diners at the restaurant who moved far away. They couldn’t successfully dig up the plants that had followed them from a long line of family gardeners and transplant them so many miles away. Instead, they bequeathed them to us. We wait for our rhubarb to mature and gain stature, and in the meantime, pirate other patches and dine off our spoils.

--Deirdre

1 comment:

RadiationScientist said...

Is it true that the leaves are poisonous? Dit you eat the leaves? Are you still alive?