Sunday, October 4, 2015

Raspberry Memories

Photo of Bazankov family in Kostroma, March 2007.  Judy came to dinner.  Includes Mikhail, 4th from left on the back, and his wife Katya, 3rd from the right on the front row, and their sons' families.


THE OMENS ARRIVE XV. June 21, 2015

For Mikhail, who turns 78 October 5.

Perhaps these raspberries are my omen.
Every day I pick a handful.  Now the
blueberries join their ranks.  I eat
them in custard, make smoothies
to cool me on these hot afternoons.
When I lived in Kostroma, people
gave me eight jars of raspberry jam.
When I had a cough, Katya made me
dried raspberry tea.  I picked them 
myself in Finland; you picked them
for me in Gorka.  Now I pick from
my own canes with the hens hovering
and nipping at the ones they can’t reach,
yammering at me to drop one.  The fig
trees were half-killed by two severe
winters, and the raspberries took over
all that sunlight and ground rich in
chicken compost.  You come to me
in spite of my doubts as a handful
of raspberries. I may forget for days
at a time, but raspberry flesh is still
on my tongue, raspberry memories
thrive in the deepest part of my mind.

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