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The First Berries

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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