Looking through my poems from another lifetime ago, I found Cherry Tree Sonnet, which would have slid easily into the 40 Below Anthology. My poems often came to me in an image, and my mosaics spring from the same source. H.D. and her Imagist poetry made wonderful sense to me.
Cherry Tree Sonnet
My mother made jam from Nanking cherries.
The tree was wedged in by the garage,
gasoline smell of this half-shelter which ferried
the car to rest and the warmth of wattage
coursing through the planked walls to run
the block heater, so the engine would start at 40 below.
My mother stood by the window, knowing the sun
through jam jars on our table could show
Jesus’ heart. Mary bore him in the half-shelter of a stable—
I knew making Nanking jam was keeping
a tree that was rare, lone, delectable,
that these preserves woke a tongue that had been sleeping,
and took on its witness of bright true red,
first fruit growing out of my mouth, that birthing shed.
~ Margaret Almon
(reprinted courtesy of West Branch)