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.