This poem is hyperlinked to an article I wrote for Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry (https://phoebemd.com/2020/03/21/grief-healing-through-poetry/). The article is based on my poetry podcast Grief: Fire and Ice (https://meelosmom.podbean.com/e/grief-fire-and-ice/).
Picking Blueberries with Mom
On hot summer Michigan days,
Mom loved picking wild blueberries.
We would be on that promised trip to the beach of Lake Superior
When suddenly our plans would change
At the sight of wild patches of blueberries
In a meadow drenched in searing sun.
We would leave the car by the dusty road and
Barrel out for her sake to scatter in the patches.
Truthfully, berry picking was not my love.
I thought we were heading one place
Only to be sidetracked by this venture.
Our trip to the lake, postponed.
Yet Mom took to the field like a young girl,
Her smock stained blue and her lips made ready
For purple kisses.
While I kept watch on the tree lines for hungry bears,
She lost herself in the foraging, requiring us to gather
What we could in our shirts.
My back ached as I did this work, and
I impatiently waited to be on our way
To seek some relief in cool lake water
Away from bees, mosquitoes and flies.
Yet Mom looked rejuvenated by her adventure.
She sang as she picked, her tunes resounding as prayers.
I didn’t realize blueberries were regenerative,
Bringing forth blessings and eternal optimism our way.
Mom was radiant as she harvested this bounty,
As though recapturing the time when
Her mother took her to her first blueberry patch,
Where she learned a way to halt time
And sing in meadows.
©Barbara Harris Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog,
My poetry podcast, https://meelosmom.podbean.com (Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul)