Gooseberries

When I think of you, I think of honey

scent borne through a thick gray mist,

coal dust smeared on limewashed walls,

birds with yellow throats on a stone sill.

 

I think of the small moments of years:

your fingers pushing your glasses up

a nose not made at all for glasses,

knitting purple wool with thickening fingers,

picking through small sharp thorns

for the plump, furry gooseberries—

not bothering with gloves.

 

“You get used to it” you say, as I try too,

my fingers soft and slow—soon pricked—

you cradle them carefully in cupped hands,

blood welling in your palms.

 

How safe I felt with you, nestled next

to your small body, feeling the warmth

of your old blood through soft polyester,

beneath the wings of your favorite chair.

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