for Lewis County in the spring

The Real New York

I was raised in the same
rural county in Northern New York
– the real New York, which ought never
to be confused with the city –
for the better part of twenty years
Where they still actually talk
of raising children
as if it were an art
and practice it accordingly
and raise animals and
plants still, too
Where the majority of adults
I knew as a child were
teachers and farmers
artists of varying kinds
local doctors and local
businessmen and craftsmen
and women, too
Who practice still
the arts necessary
to make a house a home
Where family gardens
are common, and
single-child families
are not
Where creatures of the bovine variety
outnumber the homo sapiens
at a ratio of about two to one
enduing the smell of cow manure
with an intrinsic nostalgic quality
for those children of the county
finding themselves in foreign far-off places
Where seeing a shooting star
on a thick summer night
is no surprise
and yet always a gift
Where the maples
blaze with vibrant colors
every autumn
as if the branches were on fire
or else draped in mellow
yellow silk,
The same maples that stand ready
every spring
as they did again this spring
to yield their sap
for the annual harvest
so that this year, too,
the good residents of Lewis County
faithful and true
will not have to do
without real syrup
for their real pancakes
up North there
in the real New York.




  1. Bekah,
    This is wonderful. You have caught the spirit of the goodness of being raised where you were and the blessings of having great parents. This is a treat to read. Love you…


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