June’s fiercest sun
burned her arms
& her feet where they peeked
from those most foolish shoes.
It was time to can strawberries,
to fill the kitchen with heat,
fly-sweet, &
long for a breeze.
She didn’t like strawberry jam;
this was penance
for having children,
having a garden
& for becoming Mom.
It made her long for pickles,
sour pucker,
or grownup company &
the cool first glass of daytime drinking.
Ice tinkle the day.
When she worked in the vet
clinic they had a walk-in
cooler full of medicines—
penicillin, vaccines & dips.
They also kept frozen lime juice
concentrate, tequila & beer to make
Minnesota margaritas—ice, lime
and beer in a blender. Plastic glasses.
Drunk & ice cream headaches all around.
Strawberry, Amy thought, why didn’t
we make strawberry margaritas?
Amy tasted salt on her lips, wiped
the sweat from her eyes.
More jars to fill.