Preserves


Anne Whitehouse
Cooking berries with sugar,
I stand over a hot stove on a hot day.
Steam of summer’s sweet essence
curls up my nostrils.
 
I stir my jam,
and in the mind’s inner eye
I see a procession
of brightly-colored gliders
like human butterflies
climbing the thermals
over Brace Field,
soaring over Oblong Valley,
 
where the crickets deepen their song
as the morning advances,
and fields of corn and hay
are growing dark and ripening.
Vines tangle in the wetlands,
fireflies glimmer after twilight,
and the deer are watchful.
 
High in the Green Mountains,
surrounded by forest, open to the sky,
underground springs feed the crystal lake.
On the surface swims a loon.
We float on our backs,
gazing at the clouds and sky,
cradled by water caressing us like silk.
 
Here, where the forest keeps the secrets
of our younger selves.
 


Anne Whitehouse is pleased to appear in riverbabble once again. She was born and grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, and graduated from Harvard College and Columbia University. Her poetry collections include The Surveyor’s (1981), Blessings and Curses (2009), Bear in Mind (2010), One Sunday Morning (2011), and The Refrain (2012). Whitehouse is also the author of a novel, Fall Love (2001), which will appear in Spanish translation as Amigos y amantes in 2016. Her poems, short stories, feature articles, and reviews have been published in many literary magazines. She is the winner of the 2016 Songs of Eretz poetry award. You can hear her read her story, “Cyclist,” at The Other Stories. www.annewhitehouse.com


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