• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 11
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The Art of Preservation

Grandma picked and pickled the cucumbers,
set them on the basement shelf.
They would grace the table come Thanksgiving,
dill and sour and sweet like life itself.

My childhood world, the feast
turned famine, sickens, now, under a dying sun.
Then, I pulled stingers from bare feet,
cursed dead bees for what I’d done.

Grandma knew the bounty of land and sky.
Older than she was at the end of her life,
I yearn for a taste of pickled cucumbers,
to hear June bugs buzzing in the night.

I wish I had learned the art of preservation—
to let cucumbers grow and bees sip at clover,
to pickle that savory world for a next generation—
before the famine sets in and the feast is over.