Perfection is out of the question for people like us,
—Mark Strand, The Next Time
It must be the light, how it streams
through the cherry canopy, that
makes this moment feel more
wondersome than what it is: a woman
standing alone eating cherries.
There is, of course, the dark red
taste of the juice, the satisfactory
piercing of the skin against the teeth.
And there is the sound of the yellow-breasted chat
across the river singing his bouquet
of songs one after another. But I think
it is the light that unfurls the moment
until the whole world stretches open
so that this woman, too, uncloses,
at least for this minute, while
the midsummer prisms filter
into hands as they pull the ripe fruit
to her lips. It is simple, the act.
It is factual, the scene. But the light.
leaching through the leaves as it does,
it brings the scent of miracle to everything—
both what is here and what is missing.