Raspberries, Preserved

The weather's turned hot again

with the reddening. We pick them in morning

and put them to chill

until the heat of the day calls for pause;

sit on the deck with beads of plumpness

in white bowls of milk.

My father liked them with sugar

and fresh cream. Mother bottled them

in clear quarts - ruby reflections

in the slant light of the cellar.

When we were children, we traveled fifty miles

to Bear Lake to pick our year's store:

ate what we could hold in mountain air

above copper-blue waters.

They were tartness under the suns

of first-crop hay, jams of plenty

on loaves sliced thick.

And through Wyoming winters

they remain ... summer distilled

through any long cold.

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