He picked cranberries
in the rain.
through fresh, soggy blankets of poplar leaves
bounding over rotting logs
and threading ourselves
between the crooked Diamond Willows
until his fingers were too cold to clutch
the little scarlet clusters that held on so stubbornly
after the previous evening’s frost.
It could have snowed.
It probably should have.
The nip was familiar
and beginning to hold on stronger through the day.
Nearing the house, we happened upon the squirrel’s stash
Nestled in the upright end of a fallen birch tree
hollowed by time, element
and probably some help from an insect or two.
We left it as it was.
But I returned the next day
to see if his collection had grown.
It seems he too had spent the day
picking cranberries in the rain.