I thought it only appropriate to write June's poem about cherries since I spent several days of the month picking the small, juicy fruit. From those cherries, I made a cobbler that my brother completely enjoyed, letting everyone at the dinner table know this by the look of sheer delight on his face and the mmmmmm's he made with each bite. From those cherries, I made a peace offering to the mother of Funny Delightful Son's girlfriend (long story--kind of funny but at the same time not so funny--which I will write about soon). I haven't received any response from her concerning the cherries, but I did hear from Funny Delightful Son that she made a pie from them the day she received them. From those cherries, I bartered with a friend, giving her some in exchange for greens from her garden. And from those cherries, I made jam. Sweet, pie-filling in a jar jam that I have shared with Lovely Beautiful Daughter and good friends. The cherry tree provided a bounty to us this season, and for that I am grateful.
The cherry tree planted in the northeast corner of the yard,
near the unpainted picket fence,
after the bitter cold, snowy winter months,
overnight became smothered in white blossoms,
as if someone spent hours
patiently draping garlands of delicate blooms around each branch.
Ten years the tree has been there, offering its round fruit,
first green but with the sun's warmth turns rose then ruby,
ready to be plucked from the stems,
ready to have the pit removed then tossed into a bowl,
where sticky juice pools at the bottom,
and the fruit with its juice are ready
to become cherry pie, cherry cobbler, cherry jam,
even cherry infused grappa resting in a cupboard,
the cherries, a cinnamon stick, whole cloves, red wine
with brown sugar meshing under cover of cool darkness,
every three days shaken to release more sour,
imbue more sugar and spice until four weeks pass,
when it will be ready.
One bag of cherries remains, frozen,
to be pulled out when the cherry tree sleeps
under a blanket of snow during the winter months,
to be mixed with sugar, piled into a crust, then baked,
its sweet summer scent chasing away the day's cold.