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The First Berries

July 9, 2017

I rose on unsteady legs
and hobbled down the steps
to pee in the bamboo thicket,
and seeing a dark, ripe blackberry,

picked it and brought it you
in your summer bed, where you

lay, already sweating

 

You said, “Thanks, but the first berries

are not for us, and it is best to wait”
and I thought how you teach me
all the time, with a modest, impersonal

tact, if nothing else, what I don’t already

know, from a kind of forgotten,

integral conduct

 

Later, I saw that you left
the berry in your garden in
a small clay bowl you’d made
A single summer blackberry
in a clay bowl made by your hands,

left out in offering
to the unseen

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