Jonathan Edwards, in his famous paper describing the behavior of spiders, noted “the exuberance of creation,” as though he wouldn’t have minded swinging on a thread of silk for a few minutes. At strawberry season I catch a scent of exuberance, especially when the plants I set in four years ago decide to go wild.
A teeming city
under their leaf canopy, little green speckled toes
nestle together, wiggling with excitement,
drinking the dew
awaiting the day
when they will blush, sigh, and then
into red—that honest, hilarious, innocent red
that stops just short of gaudy.
Under glossy serrated leaves they whisper
and giggle, growing sweeter, drawing toward
that exquisite balance between soft and firm—
that coy show of al dente. Then giving way—
collapsing in a wave of juice,
the tart-sweet fountain,
the jaunty, flag-waving flavor that says
Strawberry (nothing but),
in a joyful, uncomplicated shout,
before collapsing somewhere
between tongue and throat.
nudging memory with
their saucy sweetness, a
nation of bright schoolgirlish glee
huddles below the leaves, and
calls you to come and find it.