Andrew Hubbard recently moved back to Indiana after ten years in Houston, Texas. He has had five books published, including, most recently, his first book of poetry, "Things That Get You," which was produced by Interactive Press. He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2015.
Prologue: Pumpkins are the happiest members of the squash family. You simply can’t be unhappy holding a pumpkin.
The pumpkin farm does its year
Of business in October, then collapses
Until planting season.
But in October, what a frenzy!
Tractors of all sizes
Pull in green-slatted carts
Overloaded with pumpkins
Of every size and perfect color.
They are stacked in piles
On benches, on bleachers,
And in the center they build
A pumpkin pyramid ten feet high
For the crawlers and sprawlers
Toddlers, Binkie suckers, and earnest,
Sausage-legged, day-care sprouts
To clamber up, fall down
Giggle in the dirt, and do it again.
I don’t know what their insurance company
Thinks of it, but nobody seems to get hurt.
If anybody has more fun
Than the kids, it’s the parents:
Cameras wink like fireflies
As long as there is light, and longer.
I stand back and watch
The two checkout girls
Dealing with the lines
Of about-to-be pumpkin owners.
I figure they are each taking in
Ten dollars a minute.
“Wow,” I whisper to myself,
“That buys a lot of pumpkin seeds.”
My little boy pinwheels off the pyramid
And splats into the dirt.
I pick him up. He brushes himself off gravely
And asks, “How big a pumpkin
Can we get Daddy?”
I answer solemnly,
“Biggest one you can carry to check-out,”
And he jumps up and down
In the splendor of the moment.