Old Woman’s Summer

Old Woman’s Summer

Note: I wrote this poem in October 2017. I was sitting in my backyard on a sunny autumn day and thinking about my childhood summers eating raspberries in my grandmother’s garden. The raspberries I have in my garden were passed down to me from my husband’s grandmother. I was thinking about those family connections, continued now to my sons, whose favorite activity in my garden is berry picking.

Shortly after I wrote this poem, my grandma died. My aunt read this poem to her before she passed.

Today I stood barefoot
On the baking mulch pathway
Of my garden’s path in old woman’s summer

Filling myself with raspberries
Engorged and dripping
Their last triumphant burst
Before the autumn rain

Memories of summers
In my grandmother’s garden
Unaware of the evidence
Of the juicy lipstick that painted my guilt

Vines propogate the souls
Of those whose love only lives on
An heirloom for my sons
Who will never hold their ancestor’s hand
But will taste her berries