MULBERRY MUD PIES
Mulberries were not the tastiest of treats to fill a six-year-olds belly
afternoons recalled spent underneath its branches
fills my mind like a visit to a candy store of forgotten dreams.
I remember the cool soft soil underneath my bare feet
splotched with purple and black hues in patterns created
with each plop of a globe.
Running with cups of water used to create lakes and rivers between
berries not smooshed by giants or claimed by ants.
Hands and clothes stained with colorful adventures dug in the dirt.
Each summer spent under its shade became shorter as I grew taller
and the patting of endless piles of Mulberry Mud Pies lost its
appeal as I grew older.
I haven’t eaten a Mulberry since those summers;
like I said they weren’t the tastiest of berries
maybe they were only there to feed my imagination.
(First appearance in the NAMI NJ: Dara Axelrod Expressive Arts Poetry Contest 2021)