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     The Guises of Green (Grateful for Green)

             by Judith Starbuck



Neon, rain-moistened moss is thrown into low relief by slanting sunbeams.
Glossy, magnolia leaves are almost brown underneath.
Leathery muted salal marches from side to side down rosy stems.
Almost-gray lichens define the limbs of the dogwood.

Predicting the returning light blossoms with a hint of chlorophyll appear on the hellebores.
The chartreuse February skunk cabbage flower emerges from a cradle where blue has a bigger role.
New growth on the awakening willow comes into focus as the sun highlights it against the gray lake.
Big leaf maple buds from afar seem to give the woods an emerald watercolor wash.

Regardless of season, verdant kitchen regulars delight the eye as well as the palate.
Bring on two-tone, two texture avocados, pale ribbed celery, dark crinkled kale, vibrant liberated peas.
Celebrate tone-on-tone honey dew melons, blushing apples, dimpled apples, dimpled limes, translucent grapes.