Cranberries

We were at the kitchen window, our eyes on Josephine, billowing across the field into the bog beyond. Every year was the same: this red-sweatered woman tramping through the dewy grass then strutting back to her road-parked Chevy, rich with another season's jewels. We, too, knew ready cranberries, their tang in our mother's muffins, how the simmering scarlet sauce could amend the whole house. So we'd scampered out days before, plucked our pail full and full again. It was when we saw her scuffing out of the bog clutching her empty bowl that we finally tasted what we'd picked, the sour on our tongues.

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