Rhubarb Wrinkles


Like a mad red brain
the involute rhubarb leaf
thinks its way up
through loam.
~Jane Kenyon from “April Chores”

Over the last few weeks, our garden is slowly reviving, and rhubarb “brains” have been among the first to appear from the garden soil, wrinkled and folded, opening full of potential, “thinking” their way into the April sunlight.

Here I am, wishing my own brain could similarly rise brand new and tender every spring from the dust rather than leathery and weather-toughened, harboring the same old thoughts and patterns.

Indeed, more wrinkles seem to be accumulating on the outside of my skull rather than the inside.

Still, I’m encouraged by my rhubarb cousin’s return every April.  Not unlike me, it may be a little sour necessitating some sweetening, but its blood courses bright red and it is very very much alive.

6 thoughts on “Rhubarb Wrinkles

  1. How clever. I’ll never look at rhubarb again without smiling — and wondering….
    It is my favorite dessert – especially w/strawberries – but it requires sooooo much sugar and I can’t stand the substitutes.
    For some reason, it is difficult to find around here. Only available at roadside stands it seems.
    At one time, we had a few plants in the back yard – until we saw (and smelled) that the tom cats were peeing on them, Those persistent furry guys seem to go crazy in the Spring!
    Don’t worry about your brain, or any wrinkles, beautiful woman. You’re just a ‘babe’ compared to me.


  2. emily, i sure can identify with the brain thing. how i wish my brain were “new” every spring! thanks for the fun comparison and the thought of the rhubarb…we used to steal chunks from the bowl my mom would be trying to fill and dip them in the sugar (for the pie!)…..sweet memories!


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