you’re birds now, gobbled by eagles

and ravens. The neighbor, now dead,

hoarded you


in her freezer—it ain’t food security

if it melts down after two days of the

power gone out. Her husband didn’t

pay the bills.


She chopped rhubarb by the tub-load;

we couldn’t make the dump run ourselves,

had to call it in. The fruit dripped bloody

goo as it


was hauled away. Will you sprout your

thick leaves over the garbage heap?

Will your pink stems poison deer again?

The berries


on the bushes hang thick and fall unpicked.

We pulled the cherries best we could with

our short ladder. Only three rungs up I shook:



and the urge to jump. Too runny cherry

jam we turned them into, pitted ‘em with

chopsticks late into the night. We work

to eat but


I wish more of it was like this, pits pop-

ping everywhere, scrambling for them

with sticky hands, and grinning with

our red teeth.


Even the eagle knows what I’m talking

about, picking through the dump heap,

old bacon and french fries hanging

from their beak.