The Strawberry Patch
by Warren Gossett


She moves warily through the strawberry patch,
an eye for the season's first reward of deep red,
payment for years of careful tending, fertilizing,
covering in the cold months, watering in the hot.
In the strawberry patch she finds her serenity,
a peace spreading beneath the warm sun, with
sparrows voicing approval from nearby bushes,
Monet clouds gliding leisurely in the cerulean sky,
and honey bees dart from one strawberry flower
to the next. And upon finding the first berry
the woman dutifully offers it to the old man nearby,
who smiles in his love for her, knowing she's
generous enough to offer, but hopes he'll decline.
Mature love is like that, he thinks to himself,
as their kind of love will always offer the first
of everything, or the last of everything, for his
weakness is the last piece of strawberry pie, but
knowing because of love each in turn will defer.
This is how he would choose to remember her,
this beautiful woman who's been by his side,
the smile on her face as she savors the early
berry, licking her lips as if she had just eaten
a mouthful, all the while the breeze fluffs
her white hair and her blue eyes echo the sky.
Yes, he thinks, this is how it should always be.

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