Every week at farmer’s market She sets her bench with jars for sale Blueberry jam on a blue tarp Come rain or shine or snow or hail. Thirty winters perfected her Recipe—consistent, precise. Blueberry jam sealed in her jars— She sells them at nominal price. “My boy is doing well in school. My boy has topped his class this time,” Seventeen years ago she said With pride that caused her eyes to shine. The blue-eyed boy that she once raised With money earned from blueberry jam, He studied well and ripened sweet; Grew up to be a splendid man. “My boy is off to college now.” She met him once he moved to town At farmer’s market every week, While he worked hard for hat and gown. Desires blossomed in his blue eyes As visions of a prosperous place. “I will sail and settle one day And earn myself a name and face.” Greener pastures ten years ago Lured him far from his countryside. A gift—a phone—he sent back home— She talked with him until it died. Eroding smile, corroding shoes, Hardened palms begged for care. Summer dried up her stream of cash. Her blue silk robes were left threadbare. Crumbling plaster patterns her house It’s skeleton held by aching joints. That thatch of dry blueberry shrubs— Holes in canopy disappoints. Six years have passed, no words were heard. Her wishful words amidst no signs, “My boy is a man of the world He must be happy, must be fine.” Every week at farmer’s market She sets her shop, come rain or hail. Holes in blue tarp sure disappoints Her weathered bench with jars for sale. Her prayers for a blue-eyed boy Beyond blue oceans—lives, survives. Blueberry jam trapped in her jars Entraps her hopes, seals them alive.
Notes: I stumbled upon this piece in my folder. I had written it in 2021. I am not sure of the exact day or month, though. —S.B. (17.11.2022)