Now Birds Ravage The Cherries
Remember when we were new to these things?
New to our bed, new to this house, fresh to the yard
out back with the rotten poplars. Remember
when we took them down one upon six
and mangled bluejays yet to fledge tumbled out?
How sickened you were by the work of our hands,
new to this love, new to this garden.
Remember when we planted that sour pie cherry
in the place where the bluejays lay buried?
In the ground down stump hole of a poplar
and not a bone could be found.
how we watered and waited and fed and waited
until that third spring when the first white bloom
broke upon our waking. How we threw on the nets
because the cherries were our first fruits netted
and not for the sparrows' taking.
And with each year's cordoned harvest growing
first jam, then pie, then 25 bottles of wine
we drank raw, saving each reddened cork
as a trophy to our wits. And in the fourth year,
as we peeled away the holey skin from the fruits
within, a robin, beak open and stiff as our hoarding
fell to ground where the bluejays were buried.
Now to each bird a cherry, you said.
Now to each bird a cherry.