I. old love
You came through the door from a walk in the woods,
right hand cupped in front of you,
your eyes trained on its freight.
Gently, you spilled out five ruby red berries onto the counter where I was working.
“For you,” you said, and walked away.
II. childhood summer
Flashlight in one hand, coffee can in the other
We knelt in the wet grass at the bottom of the long, sloping yard,
spread out like a line of soldiers ready to advance.
Scanning between the blades of grass we looked for the long, fat
lengths of night crawlers, come above ground in the safety of the dark.
We made our way, up the hill, shushing each other, slapping mosquitos,
and dreaming of the fish that we’d eat for breakfast- if it all worked out.
There’s a trick to catching nightcrawlers:
a quick pounce that pins the worm to the ground
and then a pause, waiting for its tensed body to relax.
That is the moment to pull, ever so gently,
extracting the fat worm from its hole in one piece.
Too slow to pounce, and the worm slips underground.
Too fierce a grab, and the worm becomes two wriggling pieces,
too small for any fishhook.
By the time we get to the top of the hill
our knees are grass stained,
our legs covered with mosquito welts
but the coffee can is full of
just ready for the morning’s fishhook
on the dock