Grandma’s Cherry Tree

One summer I picked cherries
from the tree in my grandma’s yard.
I refused to eat the cherries,
but I liked picking them
on those safe, sunny days,
liked the way they stained my fingers,
their stickiness, their smell,
even the tiny green worms
we had to watch out for.

Afterwards we made a pie
(which I also wouldn’t eat),
and I helped roll the crust,
patting it into the pan
with Gram’s flour-encrusted
hands on top of mine.
I watched as the cherries
boiled with sugar on the stove,
burbling with frothy magic.

My grandma is gone now,
the cherry tree blighted,
but I can still taste the memory,
warm and delicious.

Valerie Hunter
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