There is a poem
about forgiveness I have
been trying to write, but
don’t know how to. So instead
I talk about the wild blueberry
patch in my grandmother’s backyard. How she spent
the summer in the country watering them,
picking them, making them into
jam. How she would hum softly under
her breath in French. How her
hands would brush over the berries
as gently as they outlined the heads of her children.
After her 81st birthday, the home was too much work
for her to maintain alone
so her son sold it to
a young couple who wanted to visit
the country on weekends. The night
she put the keys in the couples’ hands,
she fell asleep listening to soft French songs
and not humming along.
By the time she was 82, the blueberry patch
was overgrown; untended to, unloved.
She swore off blueberries for most of that Summer,
but one day in July,
she took the bus to the grocery store,
and bought three bushels of them.
That afternoon, she sang Ne Me Quitte Pas
loudly as she filled the counters with fresh-baked
blueberry pies. I found her at night with a slice in hand
and a smile on her face. She offered one to me as she said,This is how to move on.
This is how you mourn what you loved
and forgive yourself for losing it.