Merna Ann Hecht

Farmers Market at the Autumn Equinox

wanting to nest
in the yellow-leafed wind,
inside this basket
heaped with late saucers
of summer squash,
bunched arugula,
lipstick and gypsy peppers,

we know the news of the day,
wars against children,
tax cuts for the rich,
environmental assault,
it doesn’t stop,

but this morning
if I must think of what’s gone bad,
let it be a bruised eggplant,
an apple with a worm,
let me hear the tambourine
of the moon
as it lights the way for the corn
to rise up,

among this bounty
the memory of my grandfather
travels in me
as if from the thin roots
of carrots, to the leafy tops,
and I am with him in his garden
as he listens to the small song
of a seed before planting it,

kneeling to earth
he asks the seed, how it wants to flower.
Tonight, I will dream of him,
dream he has cupped his hands
around mine, and between us we hold
a luminous sliver of prayer
for what the world could still become.



Merna Ann Hecht, storyteller, poet, and essayist teaches creative writing and humanities at the University of Washington Tacoma. For the past nine years she was a teaching artist with the Seattle WITS program. Merna also directs a poetry project with immigrant and refugee youth. She has been a teaching artist in hospitals, detention facilities for homeless and adjudicated youth and at BRIDGES: A Center for Grieving Children in Tacoma. Merna received a 2008 Jack Straw Writers award, a National Storytelling Community Service Award and a National Storytelling Network Brimstone Award for Applied Storytelling. Her essays and poems have appeared in Kaleidoscope, Out of Line, The National Storytelling Journal, The Storyteller’s Classroom; Chosen Tales: One Generation Tells Another; the Teachers & Writers Collaborative Magazine;Drash: Northwest Mosaic  and other books and journals.