blueberry island | by Zoe Canner

put life jackets on &get into a canoe / you will fight over who gets to row the short / under a mile / distance / to blueberry island / the counselors hand you large metal bowls / from the kitchen / &you will gather the sweetest tiniest wild blueberries / popping them in your mouth / slide style / one for you / two for the bowl / &as you pick / you will sing / where have all the flowers gone / you will always be singing / then you will row back to camp / go to the kitchen / where nice / cooled down / kitchen staff / will be waiting with rolled out dough for you to shape into many / utilitarian / square baking dishes / which you will then fill with the washed berries / later in the evening / after dinner / after just enough time passes that you forget entirely about the berries / the pies will be presented to you / you will get a fork and eat straight from the tins / your eyes will roll back in your head / in pleasure / your pleasure will deepen with the looks / &exclamations / of pleasure / from your most treasured &dearest friends / mirroring back your whole life / more yourself than you are / &much / much / much / later in life / you will see a photograph of one of these friends / &you will think to yourself / i don’t remember wearing that shirt / &then you will realize that it is not a picture of you / not a picture of you at all / not a picture of you / exactly



Zoe Canner is an angry, anti-racist, 3rd Generation Holocaust Survivor. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in SUSAN / The JournalNaugatuck River Review,The Laurel ReviewArcturus of the Chicago Review of BooksStorm CellarMaudlin House, and Indolent Books’ What Rough Beast. She lives in Los Angeles where she indulges in hilly walks at dusk when the night-blooming jasmine is at its peak fragrance. 

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