Every outing was an education.
For one of our first picnics,
you brought a basket with fresh
raspberries and blackberries.
Somehow the lunch took a turn
after you saved me from
sliding down the riverbank. Some
fruit was pressed between us. You
held some fruit fragments in your palm
and said, What are these called?
Your fingers crushed more berries
and you drew a raspberry Valentine heart
over my heart and whispered, Drupelets.
Then we pressed together and your skin
was printed with the same heart.
You made dots of purple juice and
squiggles of red juice, the tiny pieces
of fruit everywhere. As we cleaned
each other, we practiced saying
the new word: drupelets, drupelets.
About the author:
Leonard Orr teaches literature and creative writing at Washington State University Vancouver. His poetry has appeared in many journals including Poetry International, Rattle, Black Warrior Review, Poetry East, Rosebud, and Natural Bridge. He has recently published two collections, Why We Have Evening (2010) and Timing Is Everything (2012), both from Cherry Grove/WordTech. His new collection, A Floating Woman, will be published in 2015.