Roses and Strawberry Jam

“Now, you’ve done it,”
My dear aunt cried.
“The flowers were too near
the dish, now we have petals
in the jam.” We looked at her
mouths filled with stolen rhubarb
and clover, crooked smiles–hair
unkempt. Her head shook, lips
turned up, slightly, in pity.

We were free-thinkers with rough
edges, raised by a beatnik and
ex-debutante. “Unfortunate,” blew
into linen napkins, presumably
out of earshot, like a sneeze or an
afterthought. My sister, the blonde
one, crawled over red and white
leather pumps. A casual shoe
perfect for afternoon tea.

How hard it had been, since her
mother died. A deathbed promise,
but the children, like wild, little
beasts. A spoonful of chicken salad
fell on her demi-plate. A single sugar
cube handed to the baby. The fallen
rose petals circled the delicate white
bowl, which impeccable displayed
her prized and delicious strawberry jam.

Susan Ward Trestrail, 2017

2 thoughts on “

  1. I love, love, love the images. And your words, once again, are so carefully chosen. I have one question about the “mouths filled with stolen rhubarb and clover.” What were you eating? I only know of bitter rhubarb in the garden, and rhubarb pie, and I only know of clover in the grass, mostly with three leaves, although prized if it has four.


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