Raspberries in late June

I wonder how the raspberries are doing
back home.
Barely tamed animals, reedy stems
poke and spread and duck under black earth only to
re-emerge under, in between, through,
anywhere.
They make me tired, but
I admire tenacity and persistence when I see it.

Just like that,
June has happened while I’ve been away.
A month of breakfasts, morning snacks, laundry and The Rest —
The Rest that in the thick feels
like a heavy burden.
So much sighing and striving and reaching as I race to never keep up,
but today —
Today I long for The Rest like a long-distance lover.

It will be a day home, a week, less, more,
and the weight will be heavy again, I know.
Not even a month will go by and I’ll daydream about
returning to this place of red dirt and avocado,
boda-bodas and jackfruit,
dreams and visions,
passion and purpose,
brokenness and beauty.

But today, I am wondering about the raspberries —
You remember a lifetime ago, the cold spring and their late start —
and I want to know if they’re blooming,
if the bees have been by,
if the buds are beginning, those tight green packed specks that will
ripen and redden. Ready,
I’ll go explore through the thick, (new) baby on my back.
I’ll point out: sharp – bug – butterfly,  baby – flower – so pretty, baby – red

And then, I’ll finally pick my first raspberry of the summer.
Late, the both of us, to the party,
I’ll pull the tender, bursting-full fruit off the stem
( – yum, baby – )
still warm from the sun,
pop it into baby’s open mouth
and look up with a sigh to the east, toward Africa.

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