HIS STRAWBERRY DAY (c2004)
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Before he died
he asked for a bowl of strawberries.
He knew he should not have them
But he said
"What the heck -
Death is coming no matter what
So I went down by the woods
at the edge of our property -
just where the sun
kisses the fallen pine cones and where
the soft breezes bend the tall grasses before dusk.
No bucket - so in
My crisp, white cotton apron
I carried as many strawberries as I could pick.
My hands were stained red-
my mouth too because I ate almost as many strawberries as I carried.
I returned to the house,
dumped them unceremoniously into the
kitchen sink to wash.
"Did you get ‘em?"
In response, I brought him a
large bowl filled to the overflowing.
And so before he died,
we ate those strawberries, slurping
slowly through one silent hour.
When months later, he was gone-
quietly in the night lying next to me,
I recalled the strawberry day
Everybody should have a
strawberry day before they must leave this world.