Posts Tagged ‘blackberry jam’

How It Goes On

On the day I learned that he died,

I made blackberry jam. The kitchen

was steamy and hot from the water bath,

and the bubbling saucepan of fruit took nearly

an hour to gel. I stood and stirred

and stirred and stood. The sweet scent

touched everything. It was gray

outside and smelled of rain, while in

the pot deepened a most beautiful darkness,

the color of sugar that comes with time.

It was an accident, of course, the kind

that makes every one of us think

we are lucky to be alive, lucky to stand

wherever we are standing, whether

it’s in line for a bus or beside the road

or in front of a chalkboard or

in the middle of the kitchen stirring

blackberry jam. How could I not fall in love

with the heat, with the color of blackberries,

how could I not fall in love with the cat

and the chatter of the girl playing dolls

and the racket of the boys throwing pillows

and even the ache in my feet. What a blessing

to be alive, to feel this awful tug

in my gut, this surge of what if,

this swell of what was, this terrible gift

of standing for hours to preserve what is sweet

as if I believe there will be a day months from now

when we will eat the sweetness and

know ourselves lucky to be alive.

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