The Things I Cannot Give

The things I cannot sell, I give
like strawberries to a homeless woman
who is not there.

This is not laced through with bitterness,
a blanket I borrowed, forgot to return.

The things I cannot give, I break
figuring they are useless
to anyone but me.

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Foragers

My mother, foraging for black raspberries
behind the fish-and-chips restaurant
beside the park where my brother practiced baseball.
My mother, in the late ’70s, her mid-thirties,
like a doe but with a Tupperware container,
reaching for the furthest berries, braving scratches.

Today, I send my daughter ahead to the serviceberry trees
while I hunt for monarch eggs but come away with only
two handfuls of raspberries (red), and even those are superfluous
because we went to the farmers’ market this morning.

When I find her, with her heart-shaped basket almost full
of purple serviceberries, she is aghast to have noticed that
they have hauled away the wood-and-metal playground,
to be replaced soon, I tell her, with rope and plastic.

This is the way of the world, I think. One day,
something important is gone, and no one
bothered to ask you first.
 

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Fantastic Baby Animals

Everyone is having a moment
but me.
I am the cleverer of things;
I write bite sized
and cannot leap.
I am earthbound here
with the skin of my chest,
how it rolls under my fingertips
as it lets go.
This is not all that there is.
It only feels that way sometimes.

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Standing in This Alley

When I was a plastic gardenia,
I did plastic gardenia things
and thought I had a scent.

Now my children approach me,
their mouths and fingers black
from mulberries, and I wonder,

How is it that I had children
and am standing in this alley,
when I’ve been a plastic gardenia
this whole time?

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