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At the Farmers' Market
Jeanie Greensfelder


I’m standing in lineto buy this week’s soup.
Someone I know comesup behind me,
places her hands onmy shoulders and says,

Sweetheart, youcanmakeyour own soup,
and off she walks,after pushing
myyou-don’t-know-how-to-live button:

I’m back inseventh-grade home economics
when the teacherasks,Who knows how to make soup?
I’m the only one toraise a hand, and with pride I say,

First, youopen the can?

Then I’m in college psychology searching
for thesecrets to life before they were sold
on every streetcorner, when they were
written in jargon, when my professor says,

Go through themotion to get the emotion.

My sister teases,The secrets to the universe
are in the glove compartment.And there’stheday
I hear James Taylor singThe secret oflife

is enjoying the passage of time.

I sigh and buy myguilt-flavored corn chowder.
As I move through the market, I see the woman
who sent me on thisjourney. She’s buying
zucchini andcauliflower. I control my urge to
put my hands on hershoulders and say

Sweetheart, youcangrowyour own vegetables.

FromMarriage and Other Leaps of Faith, (Penciled In, 2015).
Used here with the author’s permission.

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

Jeanie Greensfelder grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. A psychologist, she seeks to understand herself and others on this shared journey, filled, as Joseph Campbell said, with sorrowful joys and joyful sorrows. Jeanie grew up in St. Louis but now lives on the central coast of California with her husband, Andy, where she volunteers as a bereavement counselor at Hospice of San Luis Obispo County. Learn more about her at

New comments are closed for now.
Here's me reading last weeks poems this week! WhT a little gem this poem is. What a great last line!
Posted 08/24/2015 04:14 AM
That poem was just great!
Posted 08/18/2015 07:58 PM
Jane Elsdon:
Jane Elsdon: Truth and wisdom marinated in humor. Love this poem, Jeanie!
Posted 08/18/2015 12:18 PM
What a great poem.
Posted 08/18/2015 12:08 PM
Perfect way to end this poem. Fun!
Posted 08/18/2015 11:32 AM
Linda W. Owen:
You really put us 'in the moment'! What a delight!
Posted 08/18/2015 11:11 AM
Posted 08/18/2015 10:41 AM
Glen Sorestad:
So well done,Jeanie, it rings with the perfect bell tone of authenticity.
Posted 08/18/2015 09:37 AM
chris schulz:
Thanks for this thought provoking journey, the secrets to life resurrected at the "Farmer's Market"!
Posted 08/18/2015 09:25 AM
Enjoyed this poem, and really got a kick out of the "you-don’t-know-how-to-live button" = perfect!
Posted 08/18/2015 09:18 AM
wendy morton:
As a soup maker, I can say it is the secret of life. A sweetheart of a poem.
Posted 08/18/2015 09:12 AM
This is funny! And so easy to relate to!
Posted 08/18/2015 09:11 AM
This morning I started my pea soup in the Crock Pot but could not find a bay leaf.
Posted 08/18/2015 08:33 AM
Larry Schug:
I've been trying to write a decent "farmers' market" poem for a while. You set the bar high, Jeannie. Good work.
Posted 08/18/2015 08:03 AM
Yes--perfect ending! --and everything else in between!
Posted 08/18/2015 07:56 AM
Wonderful poem. Thank you, Jeanie
Posted 08/18/2015 07:47 AM
Janet Leahy:
Great poem, you wrap it up so well with that perfect ending!
Posted 08/18/2015 07:28 AM
Loved every word of this poem!
Posted 08/18/2015 07:19 AM
Should have done it!!! Great poem!
Posted 08/18/2015 06:51 AM

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