Waiting for a Pumpkin
By: Melissa Smith
Editor's Note: Normally we publish on the first Wednesday of the month. However, due to a special day for the author, we published this poem on Thursday, October 6, 2022.
"Happy birthday to the sweet boy who inspired this poem. What a journey to finally get to meet you on October 6th those years ago! Good things are worth waiting for."
With eager anticipation I watch the open field.
Tiny green leaves neatly grow from vines, full of promise.
Long months of spring slowly give way to summer.
My own little pumpkin in my middle grows with the passage of time.
This was never my favorite game.
The field is crowded now with great fronds of green.
Stark yellow flowers and small striped balls mingle with those leaves.
Anxiously I rub my ever-bigger belly.
I appear to have swallowed a large gourd whole, and yet I am still not ready.
Now the massive leaves have yielded to bright orange everywhere.
Those little stripy balls have become large, round, and beautiful: PUMPKINS!
At last the life-giving vines fade to brown as glorious pumpkins proudly stand out in the field, a true feast for my longing eyes.
A large cotton shirt stretches snuggly across my middle.
This big belly has outdone itself and grew even more—I am laughably large!
Like the enormous orange gourds, this pumpkin of mine is ripe at last.
Impatiently I scour, scrub, and rearrange in that empty nursery.
However, all things have their season.
Crisp autumn leaves of vibrant red-yellow swirl past my porch where I sit.
Three prized pumpkins are on the steps, bought from the field I’d watched all year.
And in my arms I gently hold one additional pumpkin.
This one, however, unlike its friends the winter squash,
Is home-grown, mine forever with tiny nose, fingers, and toes.