Striking A Bargain

One summer my mother promised A hickory-nut cake If I would go down cellar And do the churning. I proceeded to that place Of shadows, that cool Chamber fragrant with crocks Of apple butter And nine-day pickles. Although I had rather Gone fishing for bluegills (Outside cicadas sounded Like the click of a reel) I soon Became absorbed In the rhythm of the churn, At first a casual Swishing, a splashing. Then after several minutes Resembling the plopping Of a bullfrog into a pond. I plied that plunger Up and down, up and down Until, on lifting the lid At last, I saw a mass Of pale yellow gold Abloom in that dusky hold.

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