VPR Cafe: Remembering Enid Wonnacott
Posted On: February 4, 2019
Good audio piece on Vermont Public Radio about NOFA-VT’s Executive Director, Enid Wonnacott, who passed away recently.
Also, this lovely poem from Caitlin Gildrien
for Enid with so much love
The way people married a long time
resemble each other, her life’s work
was there in her face: sunshine,
good rain, the kind of richness
that rises from deep below,
that is carefully tended,
that can be neither painted on
nor washed away.
I didn’t see her near the end,
but even the late photos still have it,
despite everything, that shine,
like a just-scrubbed carrot,
burnished and glowing in the hand.
Perhaps that seems a lowly praise.
Perhaps you’ve never dug a carrot
from good loam, felt it tug back against your pulling,
all the fine roots that tethered it there,
the finer mycorrhizae that fed it from the waste
that you had piled in the back corner
and turned until it grew warm and dark
as a womb, then dark and cool,
then spread it upon the beds
where you lay down a triple line
of little ridged seeds. Perhaps
you’ve never felt their particular roughness
between the pads of your fingers
and thumb as you sprinkle them
or load the seeder.
Perhaps you’ve never put your nose
inside a bag of carrot seeds,
and startled at their uncarroty spice.
Perhaps you’ve never grown carrots
to store for winter. Never let them go to frost,
let the tops wilt down a bit,
so that the sunshine gathers somehow
even stronger inside them,
then dug one—too early, not the harvest day,
but you couldn’t wait, dug just this one
from the row, felt it resist your pull,
then the sudden release
as it came free,
the damp soil clinging,
then falling away.