When the rain stops--
when the rain
stops at last
you head out to the raspberry patch
where the berries, so heavy and ripe, arc their canes to the ground
and you’re so damn happy to be outside with the cheetering birds and the fluffering leaves and the weevering grasses and the lollering clouds that you forget that you’re wearing your favorite shirt
into the raspberry patch
--a white shirt--
until you look down and see the spray of pink Pollocked across your front, and of course brilliant thing that you are, when you try to wipe it away, you smear juice deep into the fine cotton fibers.
This is one of those moments. The knife edge of this or that.
You could bum out. You could. You really could. You’ve had the shirt for a long long long long time. You’ve known it longer than your adult children. It’s as comfortable and perfect as a shirt gets. A rare thing.
keep picking those berries and channel your father in his gloriously stained clothing, trousers and shirt that formerly stood at the front of classrooms and in offices and at dinner, shirt and trousers that after he died—years after he died—when your mother went deep into his closet for the first time, appeared—hello—at the very back as though just waiting to tell you something with that blue-eyed smile---the trousers tattooed by blackberries, the shirt pricked and torn by thorns and bled on by the sweetest raspberries Maine's wild places ever offered.
Yes you could.