Leggy though they be, the broccoli starts remain in the southern exposure kitchen window, watching, watching for warmer days and less ice. Soon, my leggy ones, we will put you by the wind break wall of the barn and pile straw around your feet to keep you upright and warm as Spring descends. A transplant job may be in order in the meantime. Or, if I can get that cold frame up and going, we’ll pop you in there. My son ordered broccoli at the restaurant tonight. Ah, success!
Meanwhile, I sit warming my toes recalling the images from Mother Goose.
Come let’s to bed, says Sleepy-head;
Tarry a while, says Sow;
Put on the pan, says Greedy Nan,
Let’s sup before we go.
That illustration, of a lazy trio glued to the warmth of the fire, reluctant to trudge into the cold attic, was all too familiar. Oh how I would delay the shock of cold as the down comforter slowly warmed up. I realized tonight that somehow in my youth I merged the imagery from two poems, one from Mother Goose and the other from William Shakespeare. I’d named one of those Mother Goose girls “Greasy Joan”.
Winter (From “Love’s Labour’s Lost”)
When icicles hang by the wall, And Dick the shepherd blows his nail, And Tom bears logs into the hall, And milk comes frozen home in pail, When blood is nipp’d and ways be foul, Then nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-whit; Tu-who, a merry note, While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. When all aloud the wind doth blow, And coughing drowns the parson’s saw, And birds sit brooding in the snow, And Marion’s nose looks red and raw, When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl, Then nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-whit; Tu-who, a merry note, While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.