Poem: The Strawberry Summer

I look back down memory’s hazy golden alley
Lined with English roses
And still I see myself
Young, straw-haired, berry-lipped
Walking under the poplars
Collapsing in the dewy grass
Laying my head on your chest
Sipping pear cider
And trying to decide which I loved more:
You or the farm
With the pollen like a golden snowfall
The soft-feathered chickens
And the strawberries
Nestled like rubies among the damask leaves
Rosy with the flush of youth
Sweet to taste
Tingling on the tongue
Lingering

even when infatuation faded
Snow fell instead of pollen
There was chicken pie for dinner
And the strawberries turned brown
Mushy as first love.

And even now
As summer turns to autumn
And afternoon turns to dusk
I can still taste that strawberry summer
On the tip of my tongue.

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