by Mary Saari Hendrix
Minnesota, U.S.A.

It starts slowly
with the planting of the bush.
Then all that waiting 'til leaf grows,
and stem hints at gifts to come
in the strand of pale green bloom.
Heat transforms jade into garnet,
translucent lure for jay and cardinal.
Now the race to see who will capture
the bounty — bill or bucket. Sour mixed
with sweet, soaked crimson flavor,
and the frenzy of boiling color is
capped in a row of round jars.


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