The Last Raspberries

Chilly morning today, mid-October,
not yet Cold in the sense of New England winter. 
Enough to bring out my knit hat, though, and 
   gloves, if I’d remembered. 
 
Raspberries grow on the edge of the hayfield, 
Inherited from some long-ago farmer perhaps.  
Or grown up from an errant seed, planted by a 
wandering animal or resting bird.
 
The crop is always small.  Only effort we put into this
  messy collection of free bushes is to pick the berries 
  on sunny days in the summer.  Never enough to 
  freeze, maybe a pie or two mixed with apples. 
If they even make it into the kitchen.
 
We've had a frost or two already, cold rains and howling
 winds that stripped the autumn trees.  
But there they were, a small cluster of ripe berries. 
A gift, a promise of harvests to come.  I picked them 
  carefully, carried them gently in my ungloved hand. 
Seven fragile berries, all the way back to the kitchen.
Beautiful enough to warrant cream in my cereal 
  instead of the usual two-percent.  
Sweeter than the summer ones, more precious, 
  these last raspberries of the year.

The Quilted Field

IMG_0616There is milkweed in the rye field.
Orange daylilies, creeping
bellflower, bird vetch, too.
Queen Anne’s Lace, prairie fleabane.

Wild turkeys hide within and mock
the farmer’s plan.
He plowed and planted rye, but then
The tractor died.

Man plans, God laughs, they say.

 

©Martha Hurwitz, 8/10/20
Photo by Author