Sunny afternoon, end of June.
I walk out onto the porch and sit
on the top step with a bowl in my lap.
I’m trying to mix red and green rhubarb
With sweet oats and brown sugar.
I can smell the cinnamon and butter.
My arms are getting tired.
I bite a raw slice of rhubarb,
its skin a ripe red but tart as a lemon.
My eyes tear up, I swallow quickly and
keep stirring. I remember
picking long stalks for pies from
my grandma’s yard as a kid, the same
summer cousin Ben fed his brother’s shirt
to a neighbor dog. We found the shirt hours later
in a pile of leaves on the side of the road.
After finding the shirt we all traipsed down to the tire
swing in the woods as if nothing had happened.