My neighbor stops

My neighbor stops to watch me rototill. I halt the churning blade, we talk of mulch and weeds, of starting seeds indoors, of last year's heat and drought, of grackles plucking up the seedling corn. He goes, hands in hip pockets, I resume. Across the way another neighbor laughs at rhubarb in between the rows of flowers, at lettuce sprouts beside the pansy blooms -- at my ``truck farm.'' But one's own peas are sweeter, pumpkins a weightier matter. His fingers have not freed new bean seed leaves. He does not know the shock of chopping dock, nor that it is a ritual, a celebration of the budding year -- and he watches baseball, too.

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